Technically a win, but not her best work

 

Annastacia Palaszczuk should have wiped the floor with Deb Frecklington at yesterday's people's forum.

She's now an experienced hand who performed admirably against Frecklington's predecessors Campbell Newman and Tim Nicholls at her last two forum forays.

Palaszczuk also thrives in a town hall environment like few other politicians.

Yet she just couldn't seem to shake off the challenge, let alone land a telling blow, against the plucky LNP leader, Deb Frecklington.

Where Palaszczuk at times looked angry and defensive, Frecklington was the picture of positivity.

While the Premier wanted to concentrate on COVID-19 and make ominous warnings about how our hotel quarantine regime was about to burst, the LNP Leader just stuck to her lines and talked about her plans post-pandemic.

That's why the hour-long debate before a room of undecided voters really was a microcosm of this entire campaign.

Against a little-know opponent after dominating during the crisis, Palaszczuk should be winning easily.

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington at yesterday’s debate. Picture: Dan Peled/NCA NewsWire
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington at yesterday’s debate. Picture: Dan Peled/NCA NewsWire

 

Yet the race remains too close to call.

And while there's wide expectation of a Palaszczuk victory, the Premier's repeated interruptions and taunting of her opponent made it appear like Frecklington was the frontrunner and it was Labor that had the catching up to do.

"Now is not the time for risk," Palaszczuk repeated while Frecklington kept talking about her "big, bold ambitious" plan.

The audience of undecided voters scored it for the Labor leader who had 25 votes from the 47 present.

Yet between Frecklington's 14 votes, the eight undecided and the 23 who decided not to brave the Brisbane storms and not show up, the result could have gone either way.

When these voters do finally decide and do show up at the ballot boxes between now and 6pm Saturday, it could deliver any result.

The People's Forum just demonstrated why this election remains impossible to pick.

 

 

Originally published as Technically a win, but not her best work


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