SUPPORT: LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding is comforted by husband Steven Voll and her children and parents after Saturday night’s election loss.
SUPPORT: LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding is comforted by husband Steven Voll and her children and parents after Saturday night’s election loss. Inga Williams

One Nation crushes the hopes of Teresa Harding

PAULINE Hanson's One Nation snuck right under the LNP's guard in Ipswich to cannibalise Teresa Harding's conservative vote and end her chances in Blair.

In 2013 it was Palmer United Party (PUP) that wreaked havoc on Ms Harding's vote and this time One Nation's Troy Aggett won 15% of the primary vote, taking it mostly off the LNP.

Instead of preferencing the LNP in Blair, as the One Nation how to vote card suggested, Pauline Hanson supporters gave more of their preference to the ALP's Shayne Neumann.

The booth results revealed that conservative voters in the traditional working class areas of Ipswich left the LNP and voted for One Nation.

In an extraordinary turn of events One Nation polled higher than the LNP in Riverview and One Mile, while in Leichhardt both parties received 205 votes.

The mood was sombre at Ms Harding's after party on election night at Ipswich Country Motel, but she gave her heartfelt thanks to all her supporters while giving her own analysis for the loss.

"There has been a national swing (against the LNP) and I am part of that national swing," Ms Harding said.

"While I am disappointed in the results…I think that myself, my volunteers, family and friends have worked incredibly hard and run our campaign with dignity.

"The One Nation result is a bit of a surprise, a bit like the Palmer vote last time when he received around 13% of the vote.

"While I was to receive the preferences, they went either 50/50 or more to the Labor way.

"But my passion remains for the community, and if I am not wanted in one place I will continue to do what I have always done in the community. This is my home.

"I have been campaigning for the last four years and in that time I had a full-time job and I would finish work and go and see someone in the community or a community group.

"So I haven't spent a lot of time with my family, so now I will.

"My daughter finished school last year and my boys are in Year 11 and Year 12 so I will spend more time with them, and they have been champions at the booths for me."

Ms Harding said she was disappointed to have 100 signs vandalised during the campaign.

"And I had people slitting my throat on things, so that was pretty nasty," she said.

The LNP did sandbag many of its own marginal seats by throwing money at them, in particular on netball courts where millions of dollars for new courts were promised.

Ms Harding was not the beneficiary of such largesse in her battle to win Blair, but was not critical of LNP headquarters for not committing more funding to key Ipswich projects.

"I think when you look at the figures, it wouldn't have mattered," she said, when asked if she wished the LNP had been more generous in Blair.

Ms Harding has been a tenacious campaigner.

Her failure to win office in Blair was not for a want of effort.

After the 2013 loss she declared days afterwards that she was back on the campaign trail for the next election.

Is she going to do the same again this time?

"I don't know," she said.

"Last time I didn't make it public until the Wednesday so…"



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