Revealed: Hung parliament threat looms over election
Exclusive Newspoll surveys, conducted for The Australian and The Courier-Mail, have revealed Labor could take the seat of Pumicestone from the LNP but surrender the hotly-contested electorate of Mundingburra.
The results come after Labor this week began appealing for people to vote early after being forced to reshape its message in make-or-break regional areas amid mounting internal concern it was failing to shake off a concerted challenge from LNP Leader Deb Frecklington.
"Right now we're not ahead in the seats we need to get a majority," one senior insider said.
In the Townsville-based bellwether electorate of Mundingburra, which has been held by the incumbent government at every election since it was recreated in 1992, the LNP is in front by the thinnest of margins.
Voters have shifted from Pauline Hanson's One Nation and the Greens to the major parties with the LNP vote improving from 26.1 per cent in 2017 to 32 per cent while Labor has improved from 31.4 per cent to 35 per cent.
Katter's Australian Party was on 14 per cent.
According to the Newspoll of more than 400 voters, the LNP was ahead of Labor on a two-party preferred basis 50.5 per cent to 49.5 per cent.
In the marginal south Brisbane electorate of Mansfield, which Labor won on One Nation preferences in 2017, the LNP vote has increased from 40.2 to 45 per cent while the Labor vote has inched ahead from 39.4 per cent to 41 per cent.
The One Nation vote collapsed from 9.1 per cent to just two per cent.
On a two-party preferred basis, Labor leads the LNP 50.5 per cent to 49.5 per cent.
The tight results in two of the most critical electorates in Queensland will make the final week of the election campaign critical for the prospects of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Ms Frecklington after the pair traded barbs on the economy, crime and infrastructure this week in regional areas.
Labor entered the campaign holding 48 of 93 seats - a two seat majority - while the LNP held 38 electorates, meaning the party needed to gain an extra nine to govern in its own right.
The loss of two seats would force Labor to look for support from independents and the Greens during Queensland's first four-year term.
The LNP would need the support of Katter's Australian Party if it fell short of the 47 seats needed for majority government with One Nation unlikely to be represented in the next state parliament.
Both leaders have claimed they won't do deal to run minority administrations.
While Labor is at grave risk of losing two of its most marginal seats, the Newspoll indicates it will easily reclaim the Bribie Island and Caboolture-based electorate of Pumicestone, which it lost in 2017.
The One Nation vote has plummeted from 23.3 per cent to nine per cent, continuing the trend from across the state, with party matriarch Pauline Hanson struggling to make an impact compared to Clive Palmer and Katter's Australian Party.
Labor's vote has leapt from 35.6 per cent to 45 per cent in Pumicestone while the LNP has improved from 29.9 per cent to 37 per cent.
On a two-party preferred basis, Labor has a healthy two-party preferred lead of 54 per cent to 46 per cent.
In each of the three seats, Ms Palaszczuk still holds a sizeable lead as preferred premier however Ms Frecklington has improved significantly compared to recent statewide opinion polls.
The two-term premier was the least popular in Mundingburra at 43 per cent although ahead of Ms Frecklington's 36 per cent with 21 per cent undecided.
However, in Mansfield Ms Palaszczuk led Ms Frecklington on the preferred premier measure 54 per cent to 32 per cent.
Ms Frecklington's worst result was in Pumicestone with just 29 per cent of voters believing she would be the better premier compared to Ms Palaszczuk's 55 per cent.
The results indicate that undecided voters are gradually shifting their support behind Ms Frecklington in a worrying trend for Labor just seven days before the official election day on October 31.
According to Labor insiders, the party has significantly ramped up its social media advertising, from pushing an anti-Campbell Newman message in Townsville to a pro-mining platform in Mackay.
Originally published as Revealed: Hung parliament threat looms over election