Despite a series of political hiccups including a rogue MP, a cancelled road project and a controversial privatisation plan, Australia’s new premiers continue to dominate opinion polls.
The latest Roy Morgan poll shows NSW Premier Mike Baird, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews maintain a healthy lead over their opponents.
Despite a shaky election victory in January which left Queensland with a minority Labor government, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk now comfortably leads in the polls.
The Palaszczuk government’s two-party-preferred lead has increased by a whopping 3.5 per cent in the last month, and she leads as preferred premier, 61.5 to 38.5 per cent.
Roy Morgan Research chairman Gary Morgan said the new premier had been rewarded for her strong stance against rogue Labor MP Billy Gordon, who she expelled from the party after it was revealed he had a hidden criminal record.
“Despite Palaszczuk governing in a minority Government with only 44 seats in the 89 seat Queensland Parliament, Palaszczuk ‘threw’ Gordon out of the Queensland Labor Party for being dishonest with regards to his affairs and has pressured Gordon to resign from Parliament altogether,” Mr Morgan said.
“The strong leadership demonstrated by Palaszczuk is clearly supported by Queensland electors.”
Baird phenomenon continues in NSW
Mr Baird’s Coalition government, which was re-elected last month, comfortably leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis, defying a swing against the federal Coalition government.
Despite talk of an “Abbott effect” bringing down the Victorian and Queensland Coalition governments, Mr Baird is ahead of his Labor opponent as preferred premier, 68 to 32 per cent.
While their plan to privatise the state’s electricity network has been unpopular, the Liberal government leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis, 54.5 to 45.5 per cent.
Mr Morgan said the poll showed Mr Baird was “maintaining the clear lead he won at the recent New South Wales election”.
Andrews brushes off East West Link drama
In Victoria, Labor Premier Daniel Andrews also commands a large lead as preferred premier, ahead of the Liberal Party’s Matthew Guy, 59.5 to 40.5 per cent.
The poll comes on the same day as Mr Andrews announced Victoria would pay $339 million to cancel the $6 billion East West Link road project, a move labelled ‘obscene’ by the federal government.
The decision to cancel the project, introduced by the Liberal Napthine government on the eve of the November election, seems to have had little impact on the Andrews government.
The Labor government leads the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis, 54 to 46 per cent, in what Mr Morgan said was a clear “honeymoon period”.