The election resulted in a fourth consecutive victory for the National-Liberal Coalition under Joh Bjelke-Petersen. It was the eighth victory of the National Party in Queensland since it first came to office in 1957.
The major issue in the election was law and order. In 1977, the Government had passed a law making it illegal to march in the street without a permit, which were rarely given. The Coalition argued that this prevented traffic disruption and other inconveniences to the people of Brisbane, while the ALP claimed that it was a curtailment of civil liberties. Joh Bjelke-Petersen also no longer had the Whitlam Labor Government (which was unpopular in Queensland) to use as a campaigning tool.
The Labor Party gained twelve seats from the Coalition and Independents, making something of a recovery from its disastrous 1974 performance. Even so, the Coalition retained a commanding majority in the Legislative Assembly.
For the first time, the National Party won more votes than the Liberal party (an electoral malaportionment had allowed the Nationals to win more seats than the Liberals previously). The Liberal Party had begun to decline.