One Nation candidate for Flynn Sharon Lohse's how-to-vote card for the Federal Election.
One Nation candidate for Flynn Sharon Lohse's how-to-vote card for the Federal Election.

How to vote cards show where preferences could flow

IT WAS day one of pre-polling for the federal election today, which gave Gladstone voters an insight into where the candidates for Flynn could send their preferences.

Some candidates and volunteers gathered outside the 132 Goondoon St pre-polling office yesterday to hand out how-to-vote cards.

United Australia Party candidate Nathan Harris and sitting member Ken O'Dowd honoured the preference deal secured between Clive Palmer and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Harris and Mr O'Dowd placed each other second on their how-to-vote cards. Meanwhile, One Nation's Sharon Lohse and independent Murray Peterson also placed Mr O'Dowd above the ALP's Zac Beers on their ballot tickets.

The how-to-vote cards show how a candidate wants you to preference your vote and gives an indication of their party's political stance.

Mr Beers placed independent Duncan Scott second on his ticket, followed by Mr Harris, and The Greens' Jaiben Baker.

Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers' how-to-vote card for the Federal Election.
Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers' how-to-vote card for the Federal Election.

Queensland University of Technology's Dr Mary Crawford said preferences could be "vital" to the result in the marginal seat.

Dr Crawford, a former federal MP for Forde and now researcher with QUT's Faculty of Business, said in marginal seats where the result could be down to a few thousand votes, preferences could decide who wins the seat.

"They're going to be very important in terms of the minor parties," she said.

"You'd expect the two majors to be coming first and second, so it depends how the minor parties allocate their preferences. In marginal seats (like Flynn) ... preferences can decide what's going to happen."

Dr Crawford said long-term voters of either major party would be the most likely to use the how-to-vote cards, while "disgruntled" voters looking to minor parties would be unlikely to take notice of them.

Flynn's Labor and LNP candidates agreed in one aspect of their how-to-vote cards. They both placed Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party candidate Marcus Hiseler last.

Mr Heisler was ranked second last on the One Nation ticket and last on Mr Harris's. Independent Mr Peterson went in the opposite direction, placing Mr Heisler second. The Observer did not see how-to-vote cards from Mr Baker, Mr Hiesler or independent Mr Scott.

During the 2016 Federal Election Mr O'Dowd secured 37.1 per cent of first preference votes, followed by Mr Beers' 33.4 per cent. With the inclusion of preferences, Mr O'Dowd secured 52.61 per cent of the vote, and Mr Beers' 47.39 per cent.

Pre-polling continues today in Gladstone. Early voting will open at 71 Springs Rd, Agnes Water, on May 6 and Boyne Tannum Community Centre on May 11.

Preferences:

First three on how-to-vote cards for Flynn:

Labor: Zac Beers, Duncan Scott, Nathan Harris.

LNP: Ken O'Dowd, Nathan Harris, Sharon Lohse.

One Nation: Sharon Lohse, Murray Peterson, Duncan Scott.

Murray Peterson: Murray Peterson, Ken O'Dowd, Marcus Hiesler.

UAP: Nathan Harris, Ken O'Dowd, Murray Peterson.

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