Coast pairGOLD could be king­mak­ers

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - LEA EMERY lea.emery@news.com.au

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.

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