One Nation preference move could harm Redlands MPs chances

ON THE HUSTINGS: Redlands MP Matt McEeachan, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls and LNP candidate for Springwood Julie Talty at Thornlands today.
ON THE HUSTINGS: Redlands MP Matt McEeachan, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls and LNP candidate for Springwood Julie Talty at Thornlands today.

REDLANDS LNP MP Matt McEachan’s re-election campaign has been dealt a blow, with One Nation announcing that it will not preference any sitting MP in the forthcoming Queensland election.

Mr McEachan is already under pressure in the seat, with some of his best conservative booths pushed into the seat of Springwood as part of the electoral boundary rejig earlier this year.

Mr McEachan has Labor standing Kim Richards against him, a local who won some profile and campaigning experience when standing unsuccessfully against Andrew Laming in the seat of Bowman at the last federal election.

As well as One Nation candidate Jason Quick, former Redlands LNP MP Peter Dowling has announced that he will stand, further spreading the conservative vote.

Mr McEachan said he had no idea how the One Nation decision would impact on his vote.

He said it was a complicated issue because at the previous election, the voting system was optional preferential but this time it would be compulsory preferential.

OUT POLITICKING: Redlands MP Matt McEeachan, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls and LNP candidate for Springwood Julie Talty inspect an Ausbuild project at Thornlands.

OUT POLITICKING: Redlands MP Matt McEeachan, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls and LNP candidate for Springwood Julie Talty inspect an Ausbuild project at Thornlands.

Mr McEachan said it also was unclear how many on-the-ground troops One Nation would have, meaning the distribution of their how-to-vote cards was problematic. It could lead to preferences spraying widely.

“I don’t see much evidence of people following how-to-vote cards too closely anyway,” he said. “There’s no real evidence of how it will go.

“I’m focused on my campaign and what the LNP can do for the electorate if we get into government.

“I’ve always said it will be a tough fight and I’m up for it.”

The electoral boundary rejig will also put pressure on Labor’s Springwood candidate and minister, Mick de Brenni.

Opposition leader Tim Nicholls, front bencher Stephen Bennett and LNP Springwood candidate Julie Talty were in the Redlands electorate today, supporting Mr McEachan.

It follows a theme both parties have adopted in pre-election mode, with leading MPs targetting seats.

Earlier this week, the government had Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, Health Minister Cameron Dick, Housing Minister Mick de Brenni, and Stretton MP Duncan Pegg at an announcement regarding work on the M1 Gateway.

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher and Forde MP Bert van Manen also tagged along, bringing the number of politicians at the event to seven.