'Come clean': Gladstone pollie demands LNP truth on deal
THE Queensland Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls may have woken up in fright yesterday after the Western Australian election revealed the dangers of doing a deal with Pauline Hanson's One Nation.
Despite constant questions on the matter, Mr Nicholls has so far not ruled out giving his party's preferences to One Nation in a deal that could secure a state election win.
But Mr Nicholls may have to think twice before jumping in at the deep end after One Nation's deal with the LNP failed to give either party any purchase among Western Australia voters.
Political expert Dr Paul Williams said that a deal between One Nation and the LNP would result in One Nation picking up a swag of seats in regional Queensland.
Although One Nation did not have the breakthrough many expected it would have had, the far-right party could still win one to two upper house seats.
With more votes still to count, as of Sunday Labor had taken 36 seats, the Liberals 11 and the Nationals five. Labor's share of the vote was 42.8%, the Liberals were on 31.3%, Greens 8.5%, the Nationals on 5.4% and One Nation on 4.7%.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the result in Western Australia would give One Nation "a reason to be worried about what their preference tactic will be in Queensland".
"The LNP and Tim Nicholls now have to come clean on how they want to approach the state election," he said.
"(Mr) Nicholls has repeatedly been asked if he will preference Pauline Hanson's One Nation and he has always said that it's up to the party (but) the party has said it's up to Nicholls.
"The end result in Queensland is a vote for Hanson equals (a vote for) Tim Nicholls and a vote for Nicholls equals (a vote for) Hanson."
Mr Butcher said if One Nation was serious about taking his seat off him, they would already have a candidate in place.
"We can surmise all we want but with no candidate it is irrelevant," he said.
A spokesperson for One Nation said the party had put the call out to locals for someone to represent the One Nation in Gladstone.
In the Western Australian election the One Nation vote dropped from about 13% in an opinion poll to just under 5% in the election itself.
Labor's Mark McGowan will be the new premier.