Kate Jones is the only Labor candidate running for preselection in Ashgrove and a recent poll indicates she’ll drub Queensland’s premier in his own seat.
Kate Jones will almost certainly be endorsed as Labor’s candidate to take on Queensland’s premier at the next state election.
Ms Jones formally announced on Sunday she’ll run for ALP preselection in Campbell Newman’s Brisbane seat of Ashgrove, where voters dumped her in March 2012.
AAP understands no one else has put their hand up and Labor figures aren’t expecting anyone to do so before a candidate is chosen in mid-October.
A recent ReachTEL poll indicates Ms Jones could attract 51.1 per cent of the primary vote compared to Mr Newman’s 36.6 per cent.
But even with her preselection almost assured, Ms Jones, a former environment minister, believes getting elected will be a tough slog.
“In my head I know exactly how tough this campaign will be. If I’m preselected I’ll be up against Campbell Newman and the entire LNP (Liberal National Party) hierarchy,” she told reporters.
“But in my heart I believe that the people of Ashgrove deserve a genuine alternative and opportunity to send Campbell Newman a message.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk hopes that message will be the same as the one Redcliffe and Stafford voters sent to the LNP, a double-digit swing towards Labor, in the July 2014 by-election.
“This is great news. There is now a party process that must be followed but Kate has my full support,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said Ms Jones’ announcement wasn’t a surprise and called her a “recycled candidate”.
“Labor are focusing on recycling old candidates, people who put us into the mess we are in and also spreading a bit of criticism and sleaze on the way,” he told reporters.
Despite Mr Newman’s dire polling, Mr Langbroek wouldn’t comment on leadership speculation, saying he was confident the premier would retain the seat.