Senator Pauline Hanson is one of the guests as Oakey celebrate Christmas with a community Santa fair and parade through the town streets. December 10, 2016
Senator Pauline Hanson is one of the guests as Oakey celebrate Christmas with a community Santa fair and parade through the town streets. December 10, 2016 Bev Lacey

Why Hanson chose James Hansen for One Nation

AN ANALYSIS of past election results reveals Fraser Coast councillor and One Nation candidate James Hansen may be a strong rival to Bruce Saunders for the Maryborough seat.

Cr Hansen was unveiled as One Nation's candidate for the Bruce Saunders-held seat at a party event north of Brisbane on Sunday.

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One Nation targeted sitting councillors when it advertised for candidates, and Cr Hansen's status as Division 1's councillor has already been questioned by fellow councillor and Australian Labor Party member George Seymour.

Cr Hansen is yet to comment despite the Chronicle's attempts, but a look at seven voting booths used at local, state and federal elections shows strong support for the dairy farmer and his political party.

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The analysis compared Hansen's results in Division 1, One Nation's results for Hinkler and Wide Bay (Damian Huxham and Elise Cottam respectively) in the federal election on July 2, and Mr Saunders' results in the 2015 state election.

While the data sets don't completely align due to the physical electoral boundaries, different issues facing each level of government, and the time of the polls, it does provide evidence that Cr Hansen is a strong candidate.

In the May 19 local government election, Cr Hansen was one of only two candidates for Division 1.

He enjoyed an enormous electoral victory, gaining 88.15 per cent of the vote against Les Gallagher.

While Cr Hansen enjoyed a two-horse race, both federal seats and Maryborough attracted seven candidates each.

Booths at Howard and Torbanlea are in Hinkler, while the other five are in Wide Bay.

Of the seven booths, Ms Cottam, who was endorsed as One Nation's candidate for Callide, earned more support than Mr Saunders at Mungar and Sunbury.

Mr Saunders said he was not concerned by Cr Hansen's nomination, and that it would not affect how state and local governments interacted.

"I'll just keep on doing what I've been doing and that's putting Maryborough first," Mr Saunders said.

"It's up to the individuals (if they want to run). That's their choice.

"(The election) will be interesting that's for sure."

The next state election is due by 2018, though an early 2017 poll is unlikely.



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