Queensland’s police minister hopes Campbell Newman continues as the state’s premier for “many generations to come” despite a Newspoll showing he could lose the next election.
The poll, published in The Australian, found support for the ruling Liberal National Party (LNP) has dropped 10 percentage points since the 2012 election.
A uniform swing of that size would see the first-term LNP government lose its record majority and possibly power.
But Police Minister Jack Dempsey says he hopes Mr Newman continues in the job for many years, in a state where Sir Joh-Bjelke Petersen was premier from 1968 to 1987.
“Campbell Newman is the greatest premier Queensland has and I hope he is in that position for many generations to come,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
But with the poll showing Mr Newman in danger of losing his inner-Brisbane seat of Ashgrove, as 30 LNP members are voted out, the minister declined to say who would replace him as leader.
“We don’t talk in hypotheticals,” Mr Dempsey said.
The LNP still leads Labor by a slender 52 per cent to 48 per cent, on a two-party-preferred basis.
Its two-party-preferred lead at the election was a commanding 62.8 per cent.
The party’s primary support has also dropped to 40 per cent after peaking at 49.7 per cent during the election, which saw the party claim 78 seats in the state’s 89-seat parliament, an Australian record.
Mr Newman is still the state’s preferred premier, ahead of Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk 41 per cent to 35 per cent, with 24 per cent of the poll’s 1136 participants uncommitted.
Nevertheless, the result is the latest in a spate of bad polling for the Newman government.
The government began turning voters off in 2012 by retrenching 14,000 public servants and controversial anti-bikie laws have also eroded support.
Spats with judges, a long-running dispute over senior doctors’ contracts and the potential sale of public assets could also be blamed for the backlash against the LNP.