One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson (right) and former Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller (left). Political expert Dr David Williams says Labor will hold the seat in the upcoming by-election, but at a cost to its primary vote. (AAP Image / Darren England)
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson (right) and former Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller (left). Political expert Dr David Williams says Labor will hold the seat in the upcoming by-election, but at a cost to its primary vote. (AAP Image / Darren England)

Labor to stave off by-election challenge, but at a cost

LABOR will hold Bundamba in the coming by-election but will lose a chunk of its primary vote, a leading political expert says.

One Nation has emerged as a dark horse in the fight for the Ipswich seat as the LNP, Greens and Labor ramp up their campaigns.

But Paul Williams, a political commentator at Griffith University, said there was too large a margin for the seat to change hands.

"(Bundamba) is what we call a gold seat," Dr Williams said.

"It's on too large a margin, above 20 per cent."

Griffith University’s Dr Paul Williams.
Griffith University’s Dr Paul Williams.

Bundamba has remained a Labor stronghold since it was formed in 1992 and was one of the party's few remaining seats in the 2012 electoral wipeout.

Jo-Ann Miller, who has held the seat since 2000, resigned in February.

While Labor polled at more than 53 per cent during the 2017 election, Dr Miller said the challenge posed by One Nation could bring it down to the 40s.

"Having said that, the Greens will score relatively well and preference Labor back," Dr Williams said.

Voters will cast their vote for Bundamba's next MP on March 28.

That weekend, the LNP will face a challenge in the Currumbin by-election.

The party won the seat at the last election with a margin of 3.3 per cent.

Dr Williams said it was impossible to "look at by-elections in a vacuum" but the results would add pressure on party leadership.

"The paradox is Labor could be embarrassed in Bundamba because of the swing plus the loss of personal vote for Jo-Ann Miller, and therefore reflect badly on Palaszczuk's leadership," he said.

"Conversely, in Currumbin, because it's such a marginal seat, even a small swing away could see Labor take the seat.

"A swing to the government in the by-election would reflect badly on Deb Frecklington's leadership.

"That's how it's going to shape the State election: it's pressure on the leaders."

The QT will host a Bundamba by-election forum on March 23 from 6.30-8pm. Venue details to be confirmed.



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