Queensland premier Campbell Newman.
Queensland premier Campbell Newman. Brenda Strong

Newman warned of more losses if he doesn't change ways

CAMPBELL Newman had been sent a message on a range of issues with the 16% swing against the government in the Redcliffe by-election, according to University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer in politics Bronwyn Stevens.

Labor's Yvette D'Ath secured 57% of the two-party preferred vote over LNP candidate Kerri-Anne Dooley in the biggest by-election swing against a sitting government in 20 years.

The LNP now holds 74 seats in the 89-seat parliament with Labor holding eight, Katter's Australian Party three, the United Australia Party two and two independents.

Ms Stevens said job cuts as soon as the LNP was elected in 2012 resonated in a way similar to the Anna Bligh asset sell-off, and promises to control living costs through water and electricity prices lasted a year before they went up markedly.

"It is a lot more difficult in government,'' she said.

Ms Stevens said the government, particularly the Premier and the Attorney-General, had misread the public's reaction to the VLAD laws.

"They went so far it seems to be backfiring on them,'' she said.

"This is the start of the rebalance. I would expect a great rebalance (of party numbers) at the next election.''

Ms Stevens said, however, she did not anticipate the 16% swing in Redcliffe to be repeated.

She said big election wins like the LNP's in 2012 could be "quite dangerous" for political parties because the executive could have a tendency to ignore the party room.

"We can see that by the number of people (LNP members) who have jumped ship,'' Ms Stevens said.

She said job cuts, particularly those that affected small programs that helped the unemployed and in health, were not expected.

"Unless the LNP responds to voters it will lose a lot more seats (at the next election) than expected.''

Palmer United Party Queensland leader Alex Douglas said the size of the LNP loss should not be underestimated.

Dr Douglas said the LNP had been losing support at the rate of 1.5% a month for the past 14 months and he estimated it was now as low as 37% of the vote.

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