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Why the words 'minority government' are like political kryptonite

Campaign Diary

As the starting gun is fired for an election campaign unlike any in Queensland’s history, the political leaders are doing what comes naturally: spinning and pretending there’s nothing to see despite elephants roaming far and wide.

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Both Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington say they won’t be doing deals with anyone should they fall short of a majority.

The technical (and polite) term for that is bulldust.

If either Labor or the LNP falls short of getting 47 seats (a one-seat majority), they will wheel and deal until the last dog dies.

This is the territory the LNP fears – the party’s strategists believe Labor is better at doing deals and would start ahead in rounding up the numbers. Labor doesn’t want to have to deal either but is relatively relaxed about it all.

The first stumble of the campaign looks like being down to the LNP after the party confirmed speculation they’d put Labor last in all seats.

If this decision stands it is very high risk for the LNP. They will be portrayed as giving comfort to everyone, from the Greens at one end to One Nation and Clive Palmer at the other, with a ragbag group of anti-vaxxers and such thrown in.

It has the potential to put the party on the defensive without any apparent electoral benefit.

History shows the LNP has paid a price for playing preference politics since the emergence of Pauline Hanson in 1998. Someone should have called former premier Rob Borbidge and asked his advice – he lost because he was forced to do a deal with One Nation.

It looks like a smart-alec, backroom tactical move at the expense of considered strategic thinking.

One comment on the YouGov poll around today: It was taken over eight days during which the Palaszczuk Government was battling the latest spate of unattractive integrity issues but it doesn’t seem to have hurt Labor’s vote.

The low esteem in which politicians are held generally means the public factor in what should be unacceptable behaviour.

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