The third most populous state is the least urbanised
- hence the Nationals' traditional dominance.
While Labor's low NSW stocks - its traditional stronghold - gets
all the attention, Queensland offers seats aplenty. Like the rural
category (with which it shares many), this is an area where federal Labor traditionally does
poorly - important important distinction is between pretty poor and piss-poor.
At the last election the ALP won just seven from twenty seven
electorates with a derisory 45.1 percent two party preferred.
The addition of Bonner in redistributio
means there are
now 28 in all, but with Bowman shifted notionally to the Coalition side,
Labor still starts from seven.
The ALP's best result in living memory was 15 out of 24 seats in 1990
with 50.2 two party preferred - three months after Wayne Goss's historic
win. Hawke's nationwide majority then was just 8.
A similar Queensland result in 2001 would have wiped out Howard's
They bitch and moan about NSW, but a better result here and in
SA two years ago could have secured victory for Beazley.
Queensland could be described as a big state (population-wise)
with a small state mentality. Along with WA and Tasmania, it invariably gives
constitutional referendums the biggest thumbs down, is wary of Canberra and sees
its and the nation's identity and interests as discrete entities. (South
Australia tends towards the opposite: small state but thinks like a big one.)
A parochial state with 28 seats out of 150. Perhaps it's time
to put a Queenslander in the top ALP job.