Pauline Hanson and Labor support tumbles behind Turnbull
QUEENSLAND voters have swung back behind the Turnbull Government, showing increased scepticism of a Shorten-led Labor Party and extinguishing the firepower behind political phoenix Pauline Hanson.
An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail shows a clawback by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, delivering his best primary and two-party-preferred results since his political nosedive after the 2016 election.
The Coalition's 52-48 two-party preferred lead over Labor is a direct reversal of the vote nationwide, indicating Queensland offers the Prime Minister the best chance to hold on to Government. However, the Coalition's turnaround would still not be enough to save about Queensland five MPs - including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton - if an election were held today.
Michelle Landry (Capricornia), Bert van Manen (Forde), Ken O'Dowd (Flynn) and Luke Howarth (Petrie) all have margins of less than 2 per cent and would lose if the trend was universal.
The poll of 860 Queenslanders taken on February 7-8 also reveals voters are equally divided over the Adani mega coal mine.
The poll, taken at the height of the Barnaby Joyce affair, shows Labor is stuck on a primary vote of 32 per cent, down one from April 2017 but about one point higher since the election.
The outcome will be disappointing for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten who has spent an increasing amount of time in Queensland, especially in the regions.
For the first time since the election, The Greens now have a higher primary vote at 10 per cent than One Nation which has 9 per cent support.
It comes with Adani a polarising issue for the state. Respondents were equally opposed to, and in favour of, the proposed mine at 41 per cent, while 18 per cent were uncommitted. Those outside the southeast were move in favour than those within, revealing the challenge for both parties at the next election.
LNP and One Nation voters are more likely to support the project than Labor voters, although one in three who do vote for the ALP are in favour of the mine's development.
Meantime, Aurizon has shelved its plans for rail line from the coal-rich Galilee Basin to Abbot Point after failing to get contractual agreement with mining proponents, including Adani.
That means the freight operator has also withdrawn its application for a loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. Adani has never given any public support for the Aurizon scheme and has always maintained its own $2.7 billion rail scheme was superior. However, the decision by Aurizon will add to the falling sentiment for the Galilee Basin projects.
Environmental groups cheered the Aurizon announcement as another blow to Adani and the LNP said the uncertainty caused by the Palaszczuk Labor Government had cost Queenslanders.
"Instead of partnering with proponents and the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), Labor has constantly put up roadblocks,'' Deputy opposition leader Tim Mander said.