The only poll that matters

There are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear. Regrettably for supporters of the new Liberal National Party administration in Queensland, Premier Campbell Newman appears to have contracted a debilitating bout of tinnitus.

As his administration is engulfed in the embarrassment of poor decision-making which, if we we were generous could be put down to inexperience, he has, unfortunately, chosen to stand defiant on the burning deck of his own credibility.

Blaming the media is a cliché that lost its potency a couple of decades ago.

The sad reality for Newman – and his erstwhile acolytes – is that opinion polling is telling a different story to the one the premier obviously wishes to believe.

The polls show the LNP’s support slumping by a full 10 percentage points in the eight months since the election. If that were not bad enough, the actual decline in the LNP’s vote is that it has shed 20% of its electoral support since entrusted with government (54% to 44%).

And even if Newman were to suggest another canard – that the only poll that counts is the one on election day (still another two years away) – there is another harsh reality in the latest polling that he really should not ignore.

It is this: the entire loss of the LNP’s vote has returned to its former nemesis, the Australian Labor Party – which has clawed-back from 23% support to 33%.

Not one iota of the LNP’s support has been directed towards other parties as a protest. No, this is former Labor voters returning to their traditional base. If Newman or the LNP think it will be an easy matter to get these people to resile from their roots a second time, they are in for a harsh awakening.

No, Premier, it is time to stop deluding yourself and realise the harm that is being done to your electoral base. This is not a blip. This is not the result of undue or inappropriate media attention. This is your Ministry’s performance offending voters.

Even your backbenchers are getting antsy and resigning or threatening to resign. The traditional authority of the premier is being eroded and there is usually only one outcome from that.

Real leadership is needed – and not a mere exercise of authority – if the mandate the people of Queensland gave you is not to be squandered. The time is now.