James Ashby, former staffer of Peter Slipper, and now Pauline Hanson One Nation Party chief-of-staff says more defectors may follow Steve Dickson.
James Ashby, former staffer of Peter Slipper, and now Pauline Hanson One Nation Party chief-of-staff says more defectors may follow Steve Dickson. Patrick Woods

Dickson no certainty to head One Nation in Queensland

PAULINE Hanson will select a One Nation Party Queensland state leader in the next few weeks, but there is no certainty LNP defector and Buderim MP Steve Dickson will get the job.

Ms Hanson's chief-of-staff James Ashby has ignored questions about his own political ambitions as speculation gathered momentum he would stand for Kawana against former Newman Government Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie of the LNP.

Mr Ashby was more forthcoming on potential further defections to One Nation from the LNP and Labor.

"There are others from both Labor and the LNP who have made approaches to One Nation," he said.

"You only need to look at those seats where both party's have refused to re-endorse sitting members to catch on to who those people may be."

Mr Ashby said Steve Dickson had only just joined Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

"The Party has a number of strong candidates that could easily lead the party into the Queensland state election," he said.

"We're going into the state election to win, not form a coalition, so we'll wait to see who Pauline chooses over the next few weeks."

Political scientist Dr Paul Williams does not share Mr Ashby's confidence.

"It beggars belief anyone in Labor would defect," Dr Williams said.

"But there may be another in the LNP. The LNP are the big losers in this."

He said if Mr Ashby was chasing a place in State Parliament he would do better looking to country areas where the One Nation vote was extremely healthy.

Dr Williams expects the party to do well in Nanango, Condamine, Lockyer, Thuringowa, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.

He doesn't expect federal issues to impact on the state election whenever it is held.

Dr Williams said LNP leader Tim Nichols would be forced to deflect Labor claims he would privatise state assets, but does not expect the January 1 changes to pensions would impact.

However he expects the Coalition to be hard hit at the next federal election particularly by over 60 voters deserting the party.

"Members are leaving the federal Liberal Party at a fastest rate in 70 years," Dr Williams said.

And while the redistribution of state electoral boundaries to be announced next month along with the location of an additional four seats will see the number of parliamentarians rise from the current 89 to 93, he said it was unlikely to make or break either of the major parties.

He expects the redistribution to slightly favour the LNP and that new seats would go to both the Gold and Sunshine Coast and somewhere on Brisbane's northside with the fourth seat to be located in North Queensland.

And Dr Williams does not rate Mr Dickson as any chance to retain Buderim.

"This is not a tactical move for survival," he said.

"I don't think he can win. The Sunshine Coast, like the Gold Coast and inner middle Brisbane are not a natural fit for One Nation.

"Unemployment is not woeful and people are fairly well off."

One Nation candidate Robert Pasquali secured 9006 primary votes when he contested the seat of Fairfax which takes in Buderim during the 2016 federal election.

But while that number represented 9.74% of first preferences, the percentage rose above 7% in only one booth - Buderim North - which recorded 7.5%.

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