WHO CAN TELL: Tony Perrett faces some uncertainty
WHO CAN TELL: Tony Perrett faces some uncertainty Renee Albrecht

Is Gympie safe for Tony Perrett and the LNP?

GYMPIE electorate is often regarded as safe conservative territory, but that does not necessarily mean it is safe for the LNP.

It was not that long ago that One Nation held the area.

And the rise, or the resurrection of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party must be a factor in the strategic thinking now going on within the LNP.

Picking a result on the basis of the 2015 results is complicated by other factors as well, not the least of them being the fact that it may be fought on new electoral boundaries.

The Queensland Redistribution Commission is now approaching the end of a long process of public submissions and consideration of them.

That followed on from the incredibly complex task of developing proposed new electoral boundaries in the first place.

The changes that look most probable would cost Mr Perrett some good loyal LNP country at Rainbow Beach, but give him plenty of equally conservative territory from Curra to Tiaro and the Kilkivan district, where he is well known.

This might be a plus for the former Deputy Mayor of Kilkivan Shire.

Mr Perrett won the state seat of Gympie in somewhat difficult circumstances, amid scandal about his National Party predecessor, David Gibson and many conspiracy theories about the forces at work behind what was widely seen as a Tony Perrett coup.

Mr Gibson had comfortably won the 2012 election, with 53.03% of the vote, an outright win in which he easily outpolled all other candidates combined.

In 2015, Mr Perrett also had a comfortable win, with 41.3%, way ahead of his nearest rival, Stephen Meredith of the ALP.

He might have expected to do even better this year, if not for the rise and rise of the new model Pauline Hanson, who has a lot of people in politics worried.

But if all that is not complicated enough for the would-be forecaster, there is also probable new electoral boundaries. now being finalised by the Queensland Redistribution Commission.

If the draft boundaries released so far go ahead, Mr Perrett may benefit, but so might One Nation.

The inclusion of polling booths from Tiaro and Kilkivan to Gunalda and Curra will probably not help the ALP, on results which show votes from those areas were strongly conservative.

That might all add up to good news for Mr Perrett, if not for reasonably strong One Nation polling in some areas as well.

The electoral redistribution process began nearly a year ago now we have seen draft boundaries, a large number of public comments on them, further public comments on those comments and on May 26, we will see a final determination which, after a 21-day appeal period will become law, with a new electoral roll.

Gympie Times


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