State’s MPs defy ScoMo over One Nation
QUEENSLAND federal MPs are openly courting One Nation preferences - one having an informal agreement - despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison's warnings and the LNP attempting to silence them.
Nationals stalwart Ron Boswell is urging the party not to do deals with One Nation, saying the best way to take them on and win is to go "toe to toe".
Pressure has been building on the Coalition on what to do with One Nation preferences, with the LNP divided on what to do.
Some central and north Queensland MPs are openly advocating a deal or not ruling one out, while inner-city electorates like Trevor Evans' seat of Brisbane are expected to put One Nation last.
Mr Morrison has declared there will be no preference deal with One Nation, which caught the LNP by surprise, as well as urging people not to vote for them.
LNP HQ this week warned MPs not to speak to or background media about One Nation preferences.
But despite this the LNP's most marginal seat holder, Michelle Landry, has an informal arrangement with One Nation in her central Queensland electorate of Capricornia.
Ms Landry would not confirm where One Nation candidate Wade Rothery would be placed on her how to vote cards but said: "I'll tell you this … Greens last, then Labor, then Palmer."
Asked if she had changed her mind after the revelations about One Nation's links to US gun lobbyists, Ms Landry said: "We will be making a decision once all the candidates have nominated when the election is called."
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien and Member for Dawson George Christensen all said they would put the Greens below One Nation.
Member for Petrie Luke Howarth openly suggested One Nation should receive preferences as the minor party could help retain some seats for the Government.
"History federally shows when One Nation preference against the LNP we lose the seats," he said.
Mr Boswell, a former Queensland senator who took on Pauline Hanson's One Nation in 2001 and won, said the LNP had to hold its ground against the minor party and fight back.
"You don't do it by preferencing One Nation," he said.
"I didn't back away from (Senator Hanson) and she didn't back away from me. That's how you have to deal with it. You go toe to toe."
He said MPs could still put the Greens last, but should put One Nation below Labor.
"You want to work out who is the most dangerous to your constituency," Mr Boswell said.
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien said preferences were up to head office, but he would encourage voters to make up their own minds and not be overly influenced by how-to-vote cards.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said he would encourage voters to put him first and "what they do with their numbers after that, I'm not worried about".