Aggressive border push helped One Nation collapse
GYMPIE Labor candidate Geoff Williams may have missed out on taking the electoral seat, but that has not stopped him from finding good news from the night.
Mr Williams and the party emerged once more as the LNP’s main competitor for the seat after claiming 28 per cent of the primary vote, more than 6 per cent higher than the party took home in 2017.
It was enough to push them back in front of One Nation where support for the party more than halved.
Labor also experienced a 0.9 per cent swing towards it in the electorate, but it was the gain in first preference votes Mr Williams said was the party’s story in the region.
He said it showed a “a tick of approval as to what the Palaszczuk Labor government is doing for Queenslanders and Queensland”.
“I think the first preference swings are important to use as a good indicator of how the public is rating you because that is a direct vote for the candidate and the policies that they represent,” Mr Williams said.
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“Preferences do play an important role but that initial first vote, I think, is an important one.”
Turning to the collapse of One Nation’s support, Mr Williams did not profess to be a political analyst but said the party’s aggressive push to re-open the state’s borders likely played a part.
“I don’t profess to know how the mind of a One Nation voter works, nor do I want to, but the fact that One Nation tied themselves to a similar if not more aggressive stance on opening the borders before they should have been, might have contributed to this,” Mr Williams said.
“From what I’ve seen a lot of One Nation voters are in the older age groups and would have been endangered had the borders been opened too early.
“One Nation’s collapse could have helped Labor, but it also may have helped the LNP, as they are both right wing parties.
“I feel the outcome of last night’s election result was fairly predictable, although probably not to the extent of the amount of seats gained overall.
“Most of the people that my fellow Labor members and I spoke to, were in favour of the border restrictions and the actions that the Palaszczuk Labor government took to keep Queenslanders safe, and are now taking to get Queensland moving out the pandemic and into the recovery that it requires.”