How One Nation voters could decide Bundy election

14th November 2017 7:12 PM
Queensland state election day at the polling booth at the CCSA Hall in Nutley Street, Caloundra.
Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Queensland state election day at the polling booth at the CCSA Hall in Nutley Street, Caloundra. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

UNPREDICTABLE One Nation voters could decide the tight seat of Bundaberg with the party choosing LNP's David Batt over Labor's Leanne Donaldson in its preference allocation.

A Sunday Mail ReachTEL survey of almost 4000 residents across Queensland found three out of four plan to put the Tim Nicholls-led LNP above Labor on their ballot papers.

With six other candidates to choose from, One Nation Bundaberg candidate Jane Truscott has placed LNP in fifth spot on her how-to-vote card ahead of Labor in sixth.

Surprisingly, Mr Batt has selected One Nation third on his card with Labor behind at sixth.

Meanwhile, Labor has sent a clear message by putting One Nation last with LNP in sixth spot.

At the last state election, 30% of seats didn't need preference counts, because the winner got more than 50% of first preference votes.

So how convincing are those how-to-vote cards in persuading voters to follow the candidates' recommendations?

University of Queensland political expert Professor Graeme Orr said One Nation's supporters were more unpredictable than Greens' supporters, who traditionally back Labor.

"There will be some One Nation voters who will follow the local candidate's preference choice,” Prof Orr said.

"Major party supporters often do follow how-to-vote recommendations, partly as they tend to be staunch voters who expect their side to do well.

"So if there are seats in Queensland where One Nation comes second, LNP third, watch out if the LNP recommendation was to put One Nation ahead of Labor.”

Prof Orr said a marginal seat like Bundaberg would be tough for Labor to hold, and a key seat given the overall election was likely to be close.

"First-term MPs like Ms Donaldson benefit from name recognition (the sophomore effect),” Prof Orr said.

"That gives them a 1-2% buffer, compared to long-term MPs, if there is a swing against the government.”

Ms Donaldson said she was putting One Nation last because it was a party of chaos.

"The scariest part in all this is Tim Nicholls and the LNP want to form government with them,” she said.

"Will we see a coalition of chaos with a One Nation health minister who doesn't believe in vaccination?

"Or a One Nation education minister who believes we should segregate children with autism from regular schools?”

Mr Batt said if voters gave their first preference to a minor party or independent, Queensland would be stuck with a minority Labor government for the next four years.