Topics:  anna bligh, australian labor party, campbell newman, labor, liberal, lnp, queensland election 2012

Leaders snub Coast

IF YOU were going on a tour of Queensland it would be almost unthinkable to ignore the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast.

But that's what Premier Anna Bligh and LNP leader Campbell Newman appear set to do.

With just a week remaining until the state goes to the polls, the pair has so far managed to avoid the Coast and appear to have no plans to do anything about it.

Both camps say nothing should be read into the fact that neither has campaigned on the Coast, but political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens sees it differently.

"I guess I kind of have a little bit of a feeling that the Sunshine Coast does get taken for granted," the politics lecturer at University of the Sunshine Coast said.

"There was a period of time when there were two or three seats (up for grabs on the Coast).

"At that point we were seen as swinging voters and worth targeting."

Now all seats are seen as safely dominated by the LNP, except for the race in Nicklin where independent MP Peter Wellington is fighting off an attack by LNP candidate John Connolly.

"It's a bit surprising they haven't managed to get Campbell Newman up (to Nicklin)," Ms Stevens said.

"He (Newman) appears to have his hands full."

Ms Stevens said the Labor strategy appeared to be to hold on to seats and give up any battle for those they were likely to lose.

Meanwhile, as the LNP is fighting for enough seats to take government, she said they saw the Coast electorates as all but won.

"I have a fear they've pretty much wiped us off and think we're not worth worrying about because we're going to be conservative voters," she said.

"This is always the problem with an area that looks safe.

"It's not a good thing to have a whole block of seats that are taken for granted."

A spokesman travelling with Ms Bligh said the Premier was "attempting to get right around the state" and there was still one week to go.

Mr Newman's spokeswoman said the leader had been to the Coast "on a number of occasions" since taking the reins of the LNP in April last year.

His schedule was yet to be confirmed for the rest of the election campaign.



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