In the process of putting together my guide to the Queensland election, I had to consider how to handle the potential vote for One Nation, who have polled as highly as 23% earlier this year and were sitting on 15% in the most recent poll. Normally I assess a seat’s vulnerability based on its margin, but a new party polling 15% is likely to upset the apple-cart, threatening seats which look very safe on paper.
One Nation haven’t been a significant statewide player in Queensland state elections since 2001, so the best source of information comes from the 2016 federal election – specifically the Senate, as One Nation only ran in a handful of House of Representatives seats.
Thankfully Alex Jago has done the work taking those results and converting them into the new Queensland state electorates using AEC data about where people from a particular SA1 vote. He’s then taken those votes and distributed preferences amongst Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation.
After distributing those preferences, One Nation is left with about 15% of the statewide vote – about the same as their latest polling.
For now I won’t bother trying to project how these votes would shift based on differing polling (for a start, the LNP vote was higher and Labor’s vote lower in 2016 compared to the latest polling), but I’ll just list those seats which have the highest One Nation vote according to Jago’s model. I will be referencing this analysis in my profiles of seats with a high One Nation vote.
The following table lists the twenty seats with the highest One Nation vote, and the rank that One Nation came out of Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation. In nine of these seats, One Nation outpolled one of the major parties last year.
Kevin Bonham has also written about this same dataset, and put some more thought into how these votes might play out in an election. In short, a lot will depend on how close One Nation is to the leading candidate, and whether they are competing with Labor or the LNP (and thus which parties’ preferences will decide the result).
The introduction of compulsory preferences will also complicate things. Preference flows will definitely change, but it’s hard to say how exactly. The new One Nation didn’t make it into the top two in any seat at last year’s federal election, so we don’t know how to predict how strongly Labor or LNP preferences would flow to One Nation. If they receive a poor preference flow, it’s possible they could make it to the top two in many seats and only win a few. One Nation did reasonably well with preferences at last year’s Senate election, so it’s not safe to assume that they would receive poor preference flows.
ON Senate vote
LNP vs ON 1.6%
KAP vs LNP 16.1%
KAP vs LNP 4.9%