Survey of 12 papers challenges pollsters on election outcome

QUEENSLAND TIMES' readers have selected Scott Morrison as their preferred Prime Minister ahead of Australia's May 18 Federal Election.

In a poll on the paper's social media site shortly after the announcement of the election date, readers were asked: 'Who do you think is going to win?'. It ran alongside a photo of the two leaders pictured here.

By midday today - more than five days after the post went live - 929 people had voted in the Ipswich poll.

About 52 per cent of those said they favoured Mr Morrison to remain in The Lodge, while 48 per cent said Mr Shorten was the person to move into the exclusive address.

Admittedly, the post still has four days to run and Facebook polls always come with a warning that they are not "scientific", but it is still a surprise that the ALP is trailing the LNP in a Labor stronghold.

And while some might be sceptical of one poll on a small regional paper, take a look at the following results.

The same poll was published on 11 sister papers of The Queensland Times, including the Sunshine Coast Daily, Toowoomba Chronicle The Observer in Gladstone, Mackay's Daily Mercury, The Morning Bulletin in Rockhampton, News Mail in Bundaberg, Warwick Daily News, The Gympie Times and The Fraser Coast Chronicle.

All of these Queensland papers bar one - The Observer (368 votes) - had Morrison ahead of Shorten.

The biggest vote was in Toowoomba with more than 2000 votes. Here Morrison had 67 per cent of the count - the largest lead of 10 Queensland papers.

Prosthetic hand : Gladstone region rotary clubs gathered on Saturday to make prosthetic hands to send to Cambodia.
Prosthetic hand : Gladstone region rotary clubs gathered on Saturday to make prosthetic hands to send to Cambodia.

It was closer on the Sunshine Coast with more than 1800 votes on the Daily and Morrison ahead with 54 per cent.

There was also a big lead for the LNP leader in Warwick (240 votes), where that poll had him winning 65 per cent of the vote. That was followed by 63 per cent in Mackay (877) and 62 per cent in Gympie (338).

There was some good news for Labor south of the border.

In Lismore The Northern Star had Shorten winning 57 per cent of the vote (318).

But just down the road in Grafton, Morrison was again in front, this time with 56 per cent of the vote in The Daily Examiner's poll.

The overwhelming majority of these results run counter to most of the nation-wide polling leading up to the election, which currently has the Coalition trailing Labor 52-48.

Politicians busting out dance moves: If you're not jumping for joy about the prospect of an election on May 18, this might cheer you up. Or not.
Politicians busting out dance moves: If you're not jumping for joy about the prospect of an election on May 18, this might cheer you up. Or not.

In the comments section of the Queensland Times' poll, there were mixed messages for both leaders.

Roslyn Rose wrote: "Either way, we, the taxpayer etc, will lose and we employ them. They are supposed to work for us, but too often they seem to work against us. A view reinforced by Maree Cowan, "Don't wanna vote for either. What's next?"

Jonathan Klaric's money is on Labor, adding: "but only Bill Shorten could lose this election."

Scott Thomson's plea was that voters stop with the two party thinking and try something different, adding: "Funnily enough, there are heaps of other options."

And Katie Edwards mused: "Can we have Jacinda Ardern instead?"

But Anny Moore really captured the mood of the electorate, asking: "Here's what we need to know, Where are the onions going on the snags?"