Worrying sign for LNP ahead of poll
A DESPERATE LNP has resorted to offering young volunteers free beer to help win the Currumbin by-election.
The acrimonious departure of long-serving MP Jann Stuckey has thrown the local branch into turmoil, with angry members refusing to help candidate Laura Gerber in her battle against Labor's Kaylee Campradt.
It leaves the LNP fearing a by-election bloodbath, with Brisbane members called on to help Ms Gerber from afar.
While LNP officials insist the practice of drafting in help from Brisbane is nothing unusual, party insiders fear the lack of support from the local faithful could prove telling at the March 28 poll.
The LNP holds Currumbin by a margin of just 3 per cent, and Labor is hopeful of reclaiming the seat for the first time in 16 years.
Rank-and-file members of the LNP's Currumbin branch were left fuming when Ms Stuckey's anointed successor Chris Crawford was rejected by the party's state executive before the relatively unknown Ms Gerber was mysteriously catapulted into preselection.
With many local members refusing to help, the Brisbane branch of the Young LNP was asked to assemble a "phone flying squad" to counter Labor's army of doorknocking volunteers. Volunteers from Brisbane were last week asked to cold-call Currumbin residents in exchange for free lunch and beers.
"This is super important," a YLNP Facebook post read.
"Labor are already out pounding the pavements in the rain. Let's make sure we keep Currumbin blue in this by-election. Lunch, good times and beers provided."
A Currumbin LNP insider said few locals were supportive of Ms Gerber's campaign.
"It's nothing against Laura personally, but the fact the party has had to reach out to Brisbane for volunteers shows that the wheels have fallen off in the Currumbin campaign."
LNP campaign director Lincoln Folo said drafting in extra helpers from outside an electorate was common during by-elections and many local members were behind Ms Gerber.