The Southern Downs might not be the LNP bellwether it once was:
WHILE it was widely expected the Liberal National Party would retain the seat of the Southern Downs in the state election, opposition candidates are buoyed at having reduced its margin.
The result is in stark contrast to the 2015 election, when outgoing member Lawrence Springborg won 62.79 per cent of the vote.
It also raises the question whether the Southern
Downs will remain a safe seat for the LNP in future years.
As counting continues, the LNP’s James Lister held
41.38 per cent of the vote, followed by One Nation’s Josh Coyne with 20.14 per cent.
A closer look at the booth breakdown shows a strong surge in popularity for One Nation in places like Texas, where Coyne polled highest, and Millmerran and Inglewood where One Nation trailed the LNP by just 13 votes.
ALP candidate Joel Richters put in a stellar effort, despite only being drafted two weeks before election day.
Richters polled second highest in Stanthorpe behind the LNP and says he’s keeping an eye on the future.
“We’ve been able to fight off One Nation for second on the list when it comes down to two-party preferred,” he said.
“With votes still coming in, currently it looks like a 6.2 per cent swing to Labor, which is going against the trend in regional seats. This is fantastic grounding to work on for the next state election.
“I would’ve liked representation, but Labor will still be able to show they have the passion and skills to deliver what the Southern Downs deserves.”
One Nation’s Josh Coyne, independent Rob Mackenzie, The Greens’ Antonia van Geuns and Labor’s Joel Richters lost out to the LNP.