SEC Newgate Mood of the Nation - 2023 Queensland Edition

Australia’s mood worsens, with Queensland leading the charge. 

With the Queensland State Election just 12 months away, SEC Newgate took a deep dive into what Queenslanders are thinking and what issues are most important to them, in a state-specific Mood of the Nation report.

In Brief

  • While cost-of-living and housing affordability are the two primary concerns for Queenslanders, concern about crime is signifcantly higher than in other states
  • Voters are divided about their preferred Premier, while there has been a decline in support for the Federal Government
  • There remains strong support for solar, onshore wind and offshore wind as means for electricity generation within Queensland

As cost-of-living pressures mount and Queensland officially begins its countdown to the 2024 State Election, the latest SEC Newgate Mood of the Nation report finds that while Australia’s overall mood is down, it’s the Sunshine State that’s feeling the most pessimistic.

Two-thirds of Australians (63 percent) believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, while even more in Queensland (68 percent) think so. A similar portion of Queenslanders also think the state is following the same path, which is the highest of any state.

Australians say their worsening mood is being driven by growing cost-of-living stress, work-related pressures, disappointment with the voice referendum and anxiety over global tensions. In Queensland, the perception of State Government performance is very poor, with only 27 percent thinking the Queensland State Government is at least doing a “good” job – by far the lowest rated of any state.

The bi-monthly survey conducted over the 18th-23rd October 2023 found only 34 percent of Australians (down from 39 percent in the last wave in August) selected mostly positive emotions to characterise how they’ve been feeling recently, with even fewer Queenslanders (32 percent) doing so.

Cost-of-living remains top concern, but crime peaks as high priority in Queensland

While cost of living (71 percent) and housing affordability (27 percent) are the most prominent concerns for Queenslanders, crime (15 percent) rounds out the top three concerns in the state, with concern significantly higher than in other states.

When it comes to addressing these pressures, a large majority of Queenslanders believe the Federal Government (84 percent) has a large role to play in helping ease cost of living, as well as the State Government (80 percent). A smaller portion, albeit still a majority, believe large businesses have a large role to play (63 percent).

Across both metro and regional Queensland, investing more to ensure quality affordable healthcare was rated the second most important priority, behind reducing cost increases for household bills and other essential expenses.

As for the economy’s future, Australians continue to be most likely to believe it will get worse in the coming 3 months and 1 year. There has also been a significant decrease in the proportion who think the economy will improve in 3 years. Queenslanders, in particular, are more pessimistic than the national total.

Preferred Premier race remains tight, while perceived performance of Federal Government falls

With the perception of the Queensland State Government the lowest of any state, the already noisy election campaigns from both sides of parliament are only expected to heighten heading into 2024.

But when asked who they thought would make a better Premier, Queensland voters were divided. More than a third (34 percent) believe David Crisafulli would make the better Premier, while 30 percent nominate Annastacia Palaszczuk. By far the strongest influence on voter intention is the approval of the policies and values of their preferred party or candidate, ahead of the disapproval of the policies and values of other parties or candidates.

When deciding who they’d actually vote for at the upcoming State Election, the most important issues were cost of living, housing and rental affordability, and crime. As for the Federal Government, there has been a fall in national perceived performance with only 32 percent feeling it is doing a “good” or better job, while slightly fewer in Queensland believe so.

Support for the energy transition holding strong, but pace is moving slowly.

There is continued support for the energy transition and emissions targets. The majority of Queenslanders remain positive about the transition to renewables (57 percent vs 23 percent negative, similar to the national result). But when it comes to pace, half (50 percent) feel the transition to renewables is moving too slowly.

In Queensland, there is strong support for new solar farms (76 percent) as well as both onshore and offshore wind farms (64 percent and 63 percent respectively). Nuclear power is more polarising (36 percent support and 39 percent oppose) but support for it is higher than for gas or coal-fired generation.


Contact us for more information about the full Mood of the Nation research report, and for key insights about the Queensland findings.

David Stolper, Partner, SEC Newgate Research – [email protected]

Sue Vercoe, Managing Director, SEC Newgate Research – [email protected]

Jamin Smith, Partner and Brisbane Office Head, SEC Newgate Communictions – [email protected]

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