THE ballot draw for the Queensland election has not favoured Labor incumbent Kim Richards in the swinging seat of Redlands.
Ms Richards has drawn sixth position on the ballot paper, the Greens are in the plumb first spot and the LNP's Henry Pike in second place.
Candidates generally like to be at the top of the ballot paper, especially in marginal seats where the donkey vote can be important. Ms Richards holds the seat with a 3.1 per cent margin.
The Greens polled 8.5 per cent in the seat in 2017 and One Nation 17.7 per cent, making the preference flows of their supporters extremely important.
Former LNP MP Peter Dowling stood last time as an independent, garnering 9.7 per cent. He is not standing but this will add to the variables in the tight Redlands contest which both major parties are keen to win.
In Oodgeroo sitting LNP MP Mark Robinson has the top spot on the ballot paper, with Labor's Irene Henley second and tyro Independent Claire Richardson last.
In the seat of Capalaba sitting Labor MP Don Brown is first, with the LNP's Bev Walters second last. Similarly in Springwood, Labor's Mick de Brenni is first, with the LNP's Kirrily Boulton fourth.
Labor has been running a presidential style campaign, with local candidates featuring on election material alongside Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Griffith University political scientist Paul Williams said a party leader featuring on signs in Queensland had not been seen since the Labor Peter Beattie era and was reminiscent of the National Party Joh Bjelke-Petersen days.
"Beattie of course had enormous political capital then, post the Shepherdson inquiry," he said.
"He promised Queensland 'I will fix this' .. and he went on to win 66 of the 89 seats. No leader has really been as popular as Peter Beattie since.
"When you see candidates linked to the leader in promotional materials, that means that the party sees it as great political capital.
"The leader comes to represent the party and the state. We saw that with Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
"There was Joh's face and two words on bunting - Joh and Queensland. If you didn't like Joh, you didn't like Queensland."
Dr Williams said Ms Palaszczuk was not as widely admired this election as she was in 2015, but she remained a respected and recognisable figure.
"There is political capital in having her face (on election material)," he said. "Her face will bring in more votes than the local candidate's face.
"The exact reverse is true, we know from polling, about Deb Frecklington."
The pandemic is set to help Palaszczuk, regardless of her popularity, as voters will be looking at their options through a coronavirus lens.
"We have seen it in New Zealand, we saw it in the Northern Territory and we saw it in the ACT and now we're seeing it in Queensland," Dr Williams said.
"Voters are giving government a free pass on things like debt deficit and unemployment because of COVID.
"Where community transmission and deaths have been off the charts, like Victoria, a different set of rules will apply."
Dr Williams said it could be assumed that the LNP believed there would be no electoral advantage in having a strong local candidate line up alongside an unpopular leader.
"There is more benefit in having the local candidate, who has an established profile, standing alone ... " he said.
"We can only surmise that when the candidate doesn't stand with the leader on bunting or corflutes, market research suggests that there is no electoral advantage."
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