Coast pairGOLD could be kingmakers
TWO Gold Coast independent candidates could hold the key to who governs Queensland next.
A Galaxy Research poll commissioned by the Gold Coast Bulletin cannot split Labor and the LNP in the new electorate of Bonney, meaning preference votes will almost certainly decide the winner.
Bonney, which takes in Labrador, Arundel and Biggera Waters and parts of Parkwood and Southport, is seen as a critical seat in the race to win power, with Labor on the nose in regional Queensland and the LNP struggling in Brisbane.
The Galaxy poll of 657 Bonney voters found the LNP’s Sam O’Connor was in front with 45 per cent of the vote.
Labor’s Rowan Holzberger had 39 per cent. Both parties are pumping resources into the region.
The Greens’ Amin Javanmard, who is preferencing Labor, polled nine per cent, lifting the Left vote to a maximum 48 per cent.
It means independent candidates Robert Buegge and Ron Nightingale, who made up seven per cent, hold key positions.
Nine per cent of those polled remained uncommitted.
One Nation has not put forward a candidate in Bonney.
The Greens have already declared they will put the ALP ahead on the LNP on every “how-to-vote” card in the state’s 93 seats up for grabs in the November 25 poll.
University of Queensland political expert Professor Kath Gelber said how the independents and Greens allocated preferences would be critical.
“A high portion of voters tend to allocate preferences in the way it’s been placed on the how-to-vote card,” she said.
“The independents’ preferences will be critical but some- times independents do not allocate where they want their preferences to go.”
Griffith University political expert Paul Williams said the Greens and two independents could become kingmakers.
“Greens and minor parties are extremely crucial at this stage,” Dr Williams said.
About 80 per cent of Greens preferences are expected to flow to the Labor Party. The remaining 20 per cent will be split among the other candidates.
“Labor in the southeast is holding steady but in the regions it’s definitely struggling,” Dr Williams said.
“Every marginal seat is crucial. The LNP is unlikely to get a majority government so every single vote and preference in marginal seats counts.”
Bonney is one of 27 seats across the state where the margin is expected to be less than five per cent.
To win government, parties need to win 47 of the 93 seats on offer.
Dr Williams said it could be days after the poll before the outcome of Bonney was known.
He said a similar wait would also occur across the state.
“Each party is just going to be trying to get to as close to 47 as possible.”
He said even though both parties said they would not work with One Nation, in the event of a hung parliament, either party would have to make a deal to work with independents and the minor parties.