Sec­ond choice mat­ters

Un­pre­dictable One Na­tion vot­ers to de­cide elec­tion

NewsMail - - NEWS - JIM ALOUAT JOUR­NAL­IST jim.alouat@news-mail.com.au

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 THIS state elec­tion, pref­er­en­tial vot­ing is com­pul­sory, which means vot­ers must num­ber ev­ery box to make their vote count.

The party or can­di­date you se­lect as num­ber one on the bal­lot pa­per rep­re­sents your pri­mary vote or first pref­er­ence.

If no can­di­date se­cures an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of first pref­er­ence votes, the ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter who be­lieves we should seg­re­gate chil­dren with autism from reg­u­lar schools?”

Mr Batt said if vot­ers gave can­di­date with the fewest votes is then elim­i­nated from the count.

The votes for this elim­i­nated can­di­date are then re­dis­tributed among the re­main­ing can­di­dates ac­cord­ing to the num­ber two pref­er­ence in­di­cated on the orig­i­nal bal­lot.

This process of elim­i­na­tion con­tin­ues un­til a can­di­date se­cures an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity. their first pref­er­ence to a mi­nor party or in­de­pen­dent, Queens­land would be stuck with a mi­nor­ity La­bor gov­ern­ment for the next four years.

PER­SONAL PREF­ER­ENCE: Jane Tr­us­cott, David Batt and Leanne Don­ald­son.

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