Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Renee Albrecht

'Tough gig': Federal MPs preparing for a tough election

FORMER country cop and current Nationals MP for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien says there is no dodging that the Federal Government is in for a tough slog at the next election.

He said while some will say they don't, the reality was "you do look at the polls, you do look at the research".

Newspoll data published by The Australian this week showed the Coalition's primary vote had stalled in the regions.

If statewide swings against the Coalition since the 2016 election held firm across the board, which granted was unlikely, the Morrison Government was poised to lose 24 seats, including six held by frontbenchers, according to the analysis.

The Newspoll data painted a grim picture for the hopes of Team Queensland, a 26-member bloc of Coalition Federal MPs and Senators.

In the event the swing was uniform, the 21 MPs in Team Queensland would be reduced to 11, with Llew O'Brien, Keith Pitt and Jane Prentice's seats in the balance.

 

Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien.
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien. John McCutcheon

The high-profile MPs who appeared doomed, according to the Newspoll data, included Peter Dutton and George Christensen in Queensland and Christian Porter in Western Australia.

Llew O'Brien said he hoped his record, which included strong advocacy for a Federal ICAC, the banking Royal Commission and fast-tracking Bruce Highway upgrades, would put him in good stead for what he expected to be a hyper-local campaign.

He said the change of Prime Minister had left constituents "p----d off" and he could understand why.

Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien said he discounted the alarmist headlines and said it was nigh impossible to estimate preference flows or election outcomes so far from election day.

"I think our greatest strength is the fact that we have delivered," he said.



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