BETS ON ALP
Healy in front but One Nation surge shows we’re miffed
FAR Northern voters will play a crucial role in deciding the next State Government with a Cairns Post Galaxy poll showing widespread discontent.
A survey in the seat of Cairns, which is being touted as a key electorate in the November 25 Queensland poll, shows Labor’s Michael Healy as the likely winner.
But he will need preference votes from Labor defector Rob Pyne whose support has tumbled since turning independent.
The poll of about 500 people high- lighted a rise in support for One Nation with candidate Ian Hodge recording 13 per cent of the vote.
A NEW Cairns Post Galaxy poll has revealed how fractured the Far North political landscape has become just a fortnight before the state election.
The phone survey of 503 voters in the Cairns electorate, taken on Wednesday and Thursday this week, places Labor’s Michael Healy as the seat’s top contender with 37 per cent of the vote.
It reveals incumbent independent MP Rob Pyne’s star has waned spectacularly since he took the seat on Labor’s ticket with 44 per cent of the vote in 2015 – and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is a force to be reckoned with.
LNP candidate Sam Marino placed second in the election stakes at 32 per cent, followed by One Nation’s Ian Hodge on 13 per cent.
Mr Pyne’s shift to the Left did not appear to resonate with the electorate. Just 11 per cent of those surveyed opted to give him a second term.
Greens candidate Aaron McDonald was at the tail-end of the ticket with a 7 per cent share at the polls.
Both major parties appear to be suffering significant slumps from the last election – Labor down 7.4 per cent and the LNP down 5.4 per cent.
The combined minor parties and independent secured almost one-third of the total vote in the poll at 31 per cent.
Both Labor and the LNP have been desperately trying to tap into what makes Far North voters tick.
For Labor, it has been tourism, job creation and infrastructure. The prospect of a billion-dollar casino development on the waterfront is at the forefront of voters’ minds.
The LNP has focused on residents’ growing fear of crime and crocodiles, wheeling out parcels of big-ticket pledges to crack down on both.
The race is far from over for One Nation. Pauline Hanson is expected to bring her “Battler Bus” to town days to drum up further support.
Pre-polling will begin on Monday and candidates have their how-to-vote cards hot off the press.
They will be important weapons as mandatory preferential voting makes its return
There are still two weeks to go until Queensland votes, and candidates need to prove their worth if they have any hope of securing this crucial Far North battleground.
FOUR-HORSE RACE: (From right to left) Labor’s Michael Healy, LNP candidate Sam Marino, One Nation’s Ian Hodge and Cairns (independent) MP Rob Pyne as they finished in an exclusive Cairns Post poll.