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Pre-polls and postal votes give Rickuss the lead in Lockyer

Pauline Hanson, David Neuendorf, Clare Rudkin, Ian Rickuss and Steve Leese at the Meet the Candidates Forum in Gatton last week.
Pauline Hanson, David Neuendorf, Clare Rudkin, Ian Rickuss and Steve Leese at the Meet the Candidates Forum in Gatton last week. Inga Williams

UPDATE, 3.30PM: PRE-POLL and postal votes have given Ian Rickuss the lead over Pauline Hanson in the seat of Lockyer.

Mr Rickuss, the sitting LNP MP, had a considerable win when the Lockyer pre-polls came in where he received 1029 votes to Ms Hanson's 860.

Mr Rickuss had a pre-poll win in Ipswich, but Ms Hanson took Toowoomba North.

But an LNP scrutineer on the ground has said Mr Rickuss was ahead 11189 votes to Ms Hanson's 11044 on preferences, a lead of 145 votes.

"Most of the pre-poll is through and only 1200 postals are outstanding," the LNP scrutineer said.

"Postal votes are favouring Ian  41% to 24% for Pauline Hanson."

Those figures are unofficial, but the scrutineer has been on the money all day.

The 32 local booths are in and Ms Hanson won 9546 of those to Mr Rickuss' 9344.

Postals look set to get Mr Rickuss over the line.

 

QT EXCLUSIVE: Postal and absentee votes look set to decide the outcome in the state seat of Lockyer after a day of see-sawing swings in the battle between Pauline Hanson and Ian Rickuss.

The QT can reveal that after 80% of the vote count One Nation's Ms Hanson is on 9411 votes and the LNP's Ian Rickuss has 9260 votes after preferences. Ms Hanson has a lead of 151 votes.

At 12.20pm on Monday the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) website had Mr Rickuss on 8208 votes and Ms Hanson on 8123, a lead for the sitting LNP member of 85.

But the count is far ahead of that with an LNP scrutineer on the ground giving the QT a report of the situation as it stands.

The figures are unofficial, but at 12.20pm the scrutineer said Ms Hanson had the lead.

The scrutineer said there were 32 booths in the Lockyer with many of the other 29 booths of the total of 61 booths referred to on the ECQ website being made up of tiny pre-poll booths that contain few votes.

"We have counted all but two of the 32 local booths and Pauline is ahead by 151 votes," the scrutineer said. "The one that turned it around for her was at Hatton Vale where she received 873 votes to 648. She won that by around 220 votes and that put her ahead after Ian was in the lead for most of the morning."

The scrutineer said it was likely the result in Lockyer would not be known for weeks.

 

UPDATE, 11.50AM: Ian Rickuss has hit the lead over Pauline Hanson as the battle for the seat of Lockyer turns into a neck and neck thriller.

The counting of preferences in 24 of 61 booths is in and the LNP's Mr Rickuss has 50.19% of the vote and leads One Nation's Ms Hanson who is on 49.81%. That represents a margin of just 44 votes in Mr Rickuss' favour.

The count from the Teviot Road booth gave Mr Rickuss the lead where he picked up 56.42% of the vote, out-polling Ms Hanson by 700 votes to 545.

 

UPDATE, 11AM: Pauline Hanson holds a narrow lead over Ian Rickuss in the race for the seat of Lockyer this morning as preferences in six more booths have come in.

After the count in 17 of the 61 booths One Nation's Ms Hanson has 50.44% of the vote and the LNP's Mr Rickuss has 49.56%.

Ms Hanson performed better than expected in the Willowbank and Yamanto booths closer to Ipswich.

But the large and crucial Greenbank booth delivered a win for Mr Rickuss. Of the 1042 votes in the booth Mr Rickuss won 57.79% and Ms Hanson took 42.21%.

This seat is still far too close to call.

 

9AM: Labor voters in the country booths in the seat of Lockyer have knowingly chosen to ignore their how to vote cards and given One Nation's Pauline Hanson an early lead in the showdown with LNP MP Ian Rickuss.

All eyes will be on the suburban booths closer to Ipswich today to see if that trend continues.

After preferences in 11 of the 61 booths had been counted on Monday, Ms Hanson had 51.77% of the vote with Mr Rickuss on 48.23%.

Ms Hanson had 4044 votes to Mr Rickuss' 3768, a lead of 276.

Election expert Cr Paul Tully told the QT last night, before putting it on his blog, that he would walk down the main street of Gatton at 2am with a sack of potatoes on his back if Ms Hanson wins.

Cr Tully said that the Labor preferences would get Mr Rickuss over the line in the end.

He may well prove to be correct, but it appears Labor voters in the country booths have not followed the how to vote cards which left Ms Hanson off the preference list.

Scrutineers have given the QT an insight into what is going on.

Pauline Hanson, David Neuendorf, Clare Rudkin, Ian Rickuss and Steve Leese at the Meet the Candidates Forum in Gatton last week.
Pauline Hanson, David Neuendorf, Clare Rudkin, Ian Rickuss and Steve Leese at the Meet the Candidates Forum in Gatton last week. Inga Williams

"Of ALP people, 70% have ignored the how to vote cards at this stage," one LNP scrutineer said. "What we are seeing in the booths I have watched, and they are not necessarily a representative sample, is 30% of the ALP vote exhausting, about 40% of preferences are going to Hanson and about 30% to Rickuss.

"We are seeing different figures across the board.

"Rickuss' problem is that with the Green preferences about 40% are exhausting and about 30% each are going to Hanson and Rickuss.

"Of the Katter Party's preferences about 25% of them are exhausting. Hanson is getting about 50% of them but Rickuss is getting about 15% of the residuals.

"Palmer United have got very similar figures with 40% exhausting, 50% going to Hanson and 10% to Rickuss.

"These figures are from a range of different booths but we haven't seen the big ones down at Ipswich yet to see what is happening to them."

The scrutineer said that the word from the Greenbank, Teviot Road and Ipswich booths such as Willowbank and Yamanto was that Labor voters there were following their how to vote card which would help Mr Rickuss.

LNP MP Ian Rickuss.
LNP MP Ian Rickuss. Inga Williams

"But it is extremely tight. Pauline is actually at the count watching it as it is happening," the scrutineer said. "She is quite convivial."

Sitting LNP MP Mr Rickuss declared victory on Sunday, but only because he was misled by a major error by the ECQ.

As reported by the QT website, the error was detected by Queensland's leading election expert Cr Paul Tully after he noted the ECQ site had the two-candidate preferred count as a contest between Mr Rickuss and fourth-placed KAP candidate David Neuendorf, when it should have been between Mr Rickuss and the second placed Ms Hanson.

The ECQ had Mr Rickuss well ahead of Mr Neuendorf.

Cr Tully sent out a tweet about the error and the ECQ pulled the incorrect preference allocation off its site.

The recount with Ms Hanson and Mr Rickuss commenced on Monday and kicks-off again at 8.30am today.

The LNP scrutineer told the QT that the ECQ was "doing a check count on everything, and they are now allocating the two-party preferred preferences".

Labor candidate for the Seat of Lockyer, Steve Leese.
Labor candidate for the Seat of Lockyer, Steve Leese. Inga Williams

"So they are now going through all of the booths once more.

"There will be a full recount eventually we suspect, demanded by both sides.

"They got through 11 booths yesterday and they have a lot more to go through today."

Poll experts believe that Ms Hanson may just fall short of victory in a close Lockyer election re-count of preferences.

Cr Tully said big Labor booths in places like Greenbank and Willowbank had not yet been counted and Ms Hanson needed 70% of the Labor preferences to win.

"How good a position she is in is in the eye of the beholder," Cr Tully said. "She may sneak over the line."

Another keen poll observer, William Bowe, told crikey.com.au that the current situation was as good as it would get for Ms Hanson.

"Her primary vote in the booths that have reported is 34.1%, compared to 27.4% in the electorate at large," Mr Bowe told the website.

"Presumably her preference share will be correspondingly lower in the rest of the electorate as well."

Topics:  ian rickuss, pauline hanson, preferential voting, queensland election 2015, steve leese



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