Wednesday, 16 November 2011

One Nation in a hat

A Bob each way: The Katter factor set to be Queensland's new political force
Bob Katter
SPOILER: Bob Katter's party is undermining the LNP. Source: The Courier-Mail

QUEENSLAND'S newest political force is poised to wreak havoc at the looming state election and could rival One Nation's 1998 efforts.

Labor polling obtained by The Courier-Mail shows Bob Katter's Australian Party has snared 22 per cent of the vote in the seat of Mulgrave. The ALP was on just 32 per cent and the LNP polled about 36 per cent. If reflected in other areas of north Queensland, much of which is considered "Katter country'', the fledgling party could snare several seats while playing kingmaker in others.

The result will increase anxiety within the LNP about leader Campbell Newman's "Just Vote 1'' declaration this year, which could backfire if preferences from the Australian Party swing to Labor. The polling showed the LNP on 36 per cent of the primary vote in Mulgrave, a mainly rural seat adjoining Cairns, while Labor was on 32 per cent in a seat local MP Curtis Pitt won convincingly at the last election.

The LNP has been convinced the Australian Party's influence on the election will be minimal and has talked up its chances of even winning back the two seats held by its former MPs who have joined Mr Katter. However, the polling in the electorate of Mulgrave, which runs along the Queensland coast between Innisfail and Cairns, exposes how the love affair with Mr Katter continues, while there is significant anger towards the LNP.

The most common reason for voters switching from the LNP to the Australian Party was because they liked Mr Katter, his policies and his commitment. However, voters also pinpointed the LNP's infighting and "being out of touch with everybody else" as reasons for their decision to switch.

Australian Party state leader Aidan McLindon last night said the poll showed people did not like the choice between the LNP and Labor. "It is evident that it is shaping up to be a three-horse race," he said. Mr McLindon said he was convinced the disenchantment in Mulgrave was rampant elsewhere in Queensland and all seats considered safe were vulnerable. "We are determined to be the Government," he said. "We are not taking any prisoners."

                             _____________    |    ______________

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.