I think it’s fair to say anyone who predicts a Coalition win for this one has rocks in their head. ABC News and the Poll Bludger website have great coverage and background information, which I’ll happily refer you to rather than present ongoing analysis from my inexpert perspective on all matters Queensland. EDIT: Also noticed another site Currumbin 2 Cook which seems to have quite good coverage also.
My observations though are one where the government, despite its issues, has proven broadly capable, while the opposition have proved otherwise. Strong leadership seems to always have been a key element in Queensland voting patterns – at federal level people in many areas vote for the incumbent regardless of ideology.
The opposition are disorganised. The Liberals like in most parts of the country are factionalised, and have just deposed their long-time leader (at one stage the only member of the party in office) and replaced him with a well-meaning, inept and essentially an unknown who has bumbled through this campaign. Getting thrown out of a shopping centre for unauthorised campaigning is what I’d consider to be fairly indicative of their level of planning.
Most commentators agree that in metropolitan Brisbane as well as the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, where about half the seats are to be found, voters who fit the Liberal demographic prefer the Liberals to the ALP, but the ALP to the Nationals (this is largely due to the ghost of Sir Joh – see this article at Larvatus Prodeo) and are afraid that voting Coalition at state level means voting for the Nationals by proxy. Furthermore, Beattie does not seem to be particularly unacceptable to such people as he isn’t from the ALP Left. Hence, “Beattie Liberals”. He is up against an alternative premier who is young, has generally done a good job of staying in the public eye and keeping his nose clean (at least from what I can gather from national news reports), but is from the Darling Downs area which doesn’t seem to be a plus in the eyes of urban voters.
I have provided a map of the Brisbane region as it voted in 2004, which pretty much says it all. In the three by-elections, there was no chance the Beattie government would fall due to their huge majority. The state election, however, is not likely to be much different to the last except in size – some seats will change hands, but the basic result will be the same.
(Note this map was made by me – if you want to use it, no worries, but please link back here. Thanks :))