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Pauline Hanson deal could become poisoned chalice for LNP

LESSONS: Rob Borbidge lost power after a preference deal with One Nation in 1998 and Blair MP Shayne Neumann insists history could repeat if the LNP does a deal with Pauline Hanson again.
LESSONS: Rob Borbidge lost power after a preference deal with One Nation in 1998 and Blair MP Shayne Neumann insists history could repeat if the LNP does a deal with Pauline Hanson again. DAVE HUNT

A DANCE with the devil will only result in political hell for the LNP says Blair MP Shayne Neumann.

Mr Neumann insists any preference deal by the LNP with One Nation at the next state election will only backfire.

Polls have One Nation support in Queensland between 13% and 16%, although in Ipswich and the regional areas it is likely much higher.

Political analyst Dr Paul Williams told the QT on Wednesday that One Nation could win up to 15 seats if the LNP preferenced the party in all 93 seats.

Dr Williams said the likely impact of such a preference deal could see the LNP win office, but in coalition with One Nation.

But Mr Neumann is tipping a narrow win for the ALP and insists One Nation's presence will split the conservative vote.

The Blair MP believes that even if the LNP preferences One Nation across the board, the impact may not be the one both parties would hope for.

He said that historically, and particular in recent elections, conservative voters have not followed how to vote cards and that a large segment of LNP voters would not wear a deal with One Nation.

"There are a lot of small 'l' liberals and middle of the road voters who vote for the LNP who will be appalled and repulsed at the idea that LNP wouldn't put One Nation last," he said.

"I think that will have an adverse impact on them in urban areas and outer suburban areas in south-east Queensland."

Mr Neumann has pointed to the disaster that befell the Rob Borbidge coalition in 1998 after a preference deal with One Nation against the then-premier's wishes.

"Overall that has been the historical experience in the last 20 years, that when the main conservative party does deals with One Nation they lose seats in Brisbane.

"Ask Rob Borbidge, who had opposed the deal done administratively by the coalition parties with One Nation, but that didn't stop them.

"If they do a deal again then Labor can win seats in regional Queensland, as it historically has done, and in south-east Queensland in and around the Brisbane region that the LNP hold narrowly."

Mr Neumann is expecting new seats around Caboolture, Springfield and on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

He believes the ALP can win Caboolture and Springfield and get to the 47 majority required.

There is a view in the LNP hierarchy that the difference between 2017 and 1998 is that voters are now more inclined to vote governments out, not in.

While no official decision by the LNP has been announced on preference deals, the predicted backlash in preferencing One Nation is not thought by some power brokers to be as great as it was in 1998 and that, despite current polls, on voting day the electors will voice a protest against the ALP.

But Mr Neumann said any LNP deal with One Nation would also be fraught and could backfire because Pauline Hanson supporters in her heartland often preferenced the ALP second.

"What people like former senator John Black have said is accurate on the One Nation impact on the conservative vote, and splitting the conservative vote," he said.

"That is treacherous for the LNP politically in terms of preference flow because people don't follow how to vote cards like they used to.

"You only have to look at the results in the last federal election in Queensland and what happened in Blair, Oxley and Wright - which together make up a tenth of the state of Queensland with 256,000 first preferences.

"Look at how the preference flow was and the worst case scenario for Labor was that over 45% of people who voted One Nation number one also voted Labor number two.

"And in my seat it was close to 50%.

"People make their own choice (on preferences)."

The electorate has proven volatile in the last two state elections with many seats swinging back and forth on the back of waves of support for both the LNP and ALP.

If One Nation does get close to the ALP primary vote in seats currently held by Labor, then LNP preferences could be vital in pushing One Nation over the line.

Mr Neumann said that would require a further collapse in the LNP primary vote

"But how many political parties win office when their primary vote collapses?

"Name me an election where a political party has formed government when their primary vote collapses.

"I base my analysis on historical experience and federal and state elections held recently.

"All the opinion polls suggest that the LNP primary vote has collapsed.

"Labor also gets 70 to 80% of the Green preferences because people vote on their preference flow on their personal perception of the candidate and ideologically.

"They don't necessarily follow how to vote cards."

Topics:  alp lnp one nation pauline hanson shayne neumann tim nicholls


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