Poll shows voters still see Newman as Brisbane-centric
DISSATISFIED rural and regional voters are more likely to turn to the Palmer United Party than either of the big parties at next year's state election, according to a University of Queensland senior lecturer.
Dr Rae Wear's comments come after results from a Galaxy poll of 800 people released yesterday showed Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was nipping at Premier Campbell Newman's heels in the popularity stakes.
Ms Palaszczuk was only one percentage point behind Mr Newman as preferred premier in the Courier Mail-commissioned poll.
Dr Wear, who specialises in rural politics, said voters outside the state capital still viewed the former Lord Mayor as very Brisbane-centric.
She chalked up his waning popularity to his clear discomfort in regional areas, the LNP's pro-asset sales stance and "fairly extreme" law and order policies.
Dr Wear predicts most voters outside Brisbane will turn to PUP and independent candidates if voter sentiment remains this opposed to the LNP come election day.
She said voters, having ruled out Labor based on its last term and the LNP, would likely turn to the new party.
The only areas she expects to vote Labor are mining and industrial towns and traditional Labor seats, such as Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton.
But, Dr Wear does not believe PUP will garner enough votes to take the helm and preferential voting could get Labor across the line.
Ms Palaszczuk was on leave yesterday.
But Labor MP Tim Mulherin also singled out regional Queenslanders when commenting on the poll, saying they were more engaged with the Labor party.
Premier Campbell Newman yesterday confirmed his statement after the Stafford by-election that they would consult more and he was willing to look at all policies.
He said, at the moment, his focus was on getting more jobs for Queenslanders and reducing the cost of living for families.