Preference swap puts key Lockyer seat on a knife’s edge

THE SEAT of Lockyer is a political minefield for analysts when predicting the outcome of the January 31 election.

But One Nation's deal with Katter's Australian Party (KAP) to swap preferences, solely with each other, has opened up even more permutations.

Griffith University political analyst Dr Paul Williams said there were many possible outcomes, a situation that makes Lockyer such a hard seat to get a handle on.

One thing is certain. One Nation's Pauline Hanson and KAP's David Neuendorf, who won 23.8% of the primary vote in 2012, are in the game.

A strong primary vote for Ms Hanson will put her in good stead.

"If One Nation runs first and LNP run second and KAP runs third … and KAP is preferencing One Nation, then it is possible for Pauline to fall over the line. But she would need to have a good head start in primaries," Mr Williams said. Mr Williams said the above scenario was unlikely and most political pundits would agree.

The LNP strategy in Lockyer is for a "vote one for Ian Rickuss", but Mr Williams said there would still be some voters who would pass on preferences to One Nation.

One Nation's problem may well be that, apart from KAP, preferences will not flow to Ms Hanson.


Ms Hanson could still win if she comes in second on primaries behind the sitting LNP MP Ian Rickuss, who holds the seat by a margin of 18%.

"If KAP runs third and first, second and third places are all pretty close and there are enough KAP preferences, then that can push Hanson over the line from second place," Mr Williams.

"You saw that when Hanson went for (the federal seat of) Blair in 1998 and the Libs won from third place when everyone put One Nation last. It was One Nation first (on primaries) then Labor and then the Libs, and the Libs won it."

Labor has had a shutout policy when it comes to preferencing One Nation and has left Ms Hanson off its preference list on the how-to-vote card in Lockyer.

Labor's Steve Leese is the dark horse here. The previous Labor candidate James Wilson polled 17.7% in 2012 and Mr Leese is expected to do much better.

If Mr Leese can poll well with his primary vote and get a strong flow of Green preferences then he is a chance.

"I am expecting the Labor primary vote to improve quite reasonably, and that is part of the disgruntled vote," Mr Williams said.

"Some of the people who voted for Rickuss last time will go to Labor, a lot will go to One Nation and some will go to KAP."

Me Neuendorf will be hoping for a top two finish in the primaries, with One Nation preferences to get him over the line. The Palmer United Party (PUP) is expected to be a minor player in Lockyer.

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