Parties unable to name candidates for Coast seats yet
THE January 31 election date set yesterday by Premier Campbell Newman has caught opposition parties on the hop.
The scramble is now on to announce candidates for the Sunshine Coast's seven state seats and to pull together election campaigns at a time when most are still in Christmas holiday mode.
The snap election may cost the government - respondents to an online Sunshine Coast Daily poll nominated its arrogance as the biggest single issue in determining their vote. Government arrogance, at 20%, even outpolled the economy, at 18%, and cost of living, at 16%.
University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer in politics Bronwyn Stevens said it appeared the Premier had come to the view that he couldn't roll back the poor polling of recent months.
She said there would be an element of voter anger at the decision.
Labor is yet to name candidates in the key seats of Buderim and Maroochydore while the Greens acknowledged they had been caught two weeks behind.
The Greens will stand a candidate in every Coast seat but have named only Fiona Anderson in Caloundra and Joe Shlegeris in Noosa.
Katter's Australian Party won't stand a candidate on the Coast.
Palmer United Party had announced candidates only in Kawana, Glass House and Maroochydore before the announcement but later named Palmer business associate Phil Collins in Caloundra and is expected to name further candidates in coming days.
With only 25 days before Queensland votes, every day in the campaign will be vital.
The closing date for nominations remains unclear until the election writs are issued.
Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was ready despite still being two candidates short on the Sunshine Coast.
She is ready to announce jobs and education policies.
Describing the Newman Government as arrogant, Ms Palaszczuk said it had broken promises to lower the cost of living, the level of unemployment and to not sell state assets.
"People can't trust Campbell Newman and I think that is what is being reflected out there in the polls," she said.
"People have simply had enough.
"My main focus has been on jobs - it's been on jobs for the last two and a half years.
"We've got unemployment heading towards 7% and youth unemployment in our regional areas up to 20%.
"This government has cut jobs, they've cut services and they've cut TAFE."
Mr Newman told reporters yesterday that he had chosen the early date, despite declaring on numerous occasions his government would run full term, because he did not want Queenslanders to suffer from "uncertainty".
"We can't afford to lose one day," he said. "It would be bad for the economy and bad for jobs."
He dismissed as "wasted votes" those that would be given to minor parties and independents, saying such choices could make Annastacia Palaszczuk premier.
Sportingbet.com.au said punters had installed the LNP as firm favourites at $1.25 to Labor's $3.80, but Mr Newman looks shaky in Ashgrove where he is rated a $2.45 outsider.