QLD One Nation's fate may hinge on LNP preferences.
Experts predict that the decision of the Liberal National party to direct Queensland voters to place One Nation second on their senate ballots might lead to the re-election of Pauline Hanson. This strategic move has been criticized by political opponents as it could alienate moderate voters within the party and result in a backlash against Liberals in marginal seats. According to electoral analyst Ben Raue, of the six senate spots up for grabs in Queensland, Labor would likely win two, the Greens one, and the LNP at least two. This could see the Liberal senator Amanda Stoker, United Australia party’s Clive Palmer, the Liberal Democrats’ Campbell Newman, and Hanson competing for the final spot. If the LNP secures enough votes to elect two senate candidates but not enough to land three, Raue says their voters’ preferences could be decisive. One Nation made headlines for directing preferences away from the Liberals in ultra-marginal Tasmanian seat of Bass targeting left-leaning voters. The Coalition has also released its how-to-vote cards and directed voters to list One Nation second, UAP third, and Liberal Democrats fourth, which experts say could lead to a backlash against moderate Liberal MPs in marginal seats.
We appreciate your input. Dissatisfaction with conservative voters was noticeable in many regional areas according to Beryce Nelson, who represented both the Liberal and National parties during the 1980s in the state parliament.
Nelson expressed her disappointment but not surprise at the LNP’s Senate how-to-vote card. "It's a simple calculation, they would rather have [Hanson] in the Senate," she stated. According to her, the party leaders seek to maintain control over their political tactics, which affects their leadership style.
After the LNP's party shift to the right and the "extremists" taking over, Nelson placed herself in the politically independent category. She supports her regional MP, Labor's Shayne Neumann from Blair, because of his integrity. Other previous LNP voters who couldn't support the Morrison government had a problem with the party's misconduct. "It's like sending them to the sin bin," she said.
John Humphreys, the president of the Liberal Democrats, speculated that the LNP acted "revengefully" by not giving Newman preference. "We were disappointed the LNP put Campbell behind Pauline and Clive on their Senate ticket, especially since polling shows that Campbell is more popular among LNP voters than any of their own state MPs," said Humphreys.
The Queensland Conservation Council's director, Dave Copeman, thinks this quick decision signified that the LNP has not moved beyond the climate issue. The One Nation members were dismissive of climate science and promoted conspiracy theories," he said. He believes that the Australian Parliament's focus is on net-zero emissions and climate action, which the business and community sectors understand but the government seems to be stuck in the climate wars, with One Nation being the worst example."
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