Expert: Why Lockyer will fall to One Nation
THE people of Lockyer will vote for One Nation in the next State election, says political expert Paul Williams.
The Griffith University senior lecturer said regardless of the LNP preference, One Nation's Jim Savage will come out on top against a yet-to-be-named LNP candidate.
"Either way, I'm expecting Lockyer to fall to One Nation given Hanson came so close in 2015," he said.
"One Nation is likely to attract a primary vote in the low to mid-20s. How many seats that translates into is impossible to say until we know the LNP's preference decision."
The political expert said a win in Lockyer would mean One Nation could hold anywhere between one and 15 seats, depending on who the LNP preference.
"If LNP preferences One Nation ahead of Labor, then One Nation will pick up seats in provincial Queensland but not necessarily rural or western Queensland," he said.
"If LNP preferences Labor ahead of One Nation, their gains will be very small."
Last month, outgoing Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss announced he would retire at the next State election and is yet to say who will replace him as the LNP candidate for the region.
The seat was held by One Nation's Bill Flynn until the LNP member came out on top in the 2004 State election.
In the 2015 election, Pauline Hanson narrowly lost to Mr Rickuss by just 114 votes, after preferences.
The One Nation founder has previously said Lockyer epitomised what her party stood for with its rural industry and working class majority.
Mr Williams said having a candidate with a farming background like Jim Savage further improved his chances of dominating in the area.
"It is preferable One Nation to have locally-connected candidates, with links to community farm or business networks," he said.
"But (they) can win seats without well-known candidates as many aggrieved voters will vote for the Hanson and One Nation brand, even if they know nothing of the local candidate.
"(Ian) Rickuss' retirement will see a few percentage points of LNP vote evaporate, making a One Nation victory there a little more likely."
Mr Williams said there were a number of factors causing people to turn away from the major parties and to parties like Senator Hanson's.
"The downturn in the mining industry, free trade among primary industries, fears over immigration, fears over "political correctness", and a sense of cultural alienation overseen by two major parties many regional voters see as too alike are the main causes of this disenchantment," he said.
"Of course, support for One Nation and other nativist populists, like Trump, comes disproportionately from those who have attained only low educational levels who are more susceptible to "post-truth" politics where rumour and conspiracy theories are rampant."