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Brandis says Queensland Liberal National Party merger could be revisited

Michelle Grattan writes in The Conversation (21.11.16) about conjecture of a split in the ranks of Queensland’s LNP, following dismissive remarks made by the federal Attorney-General, Queensland Senator George Brandis, about the state Opposition.

‘The government’s leader in the Senate, George Brandis, has described the Queensland Liberal National Party opposition as “very, very mediocre” and warned One Nation is likely to win “quite a few” seats at the state election.

‘In another gaffe by the accident-prone Brandis, he also suggested the merger between the Liberals and Nationals in Queensland might be revisited. The frank remarks were made when Brandis didn’t realise the mic was on at a Victorian Liberal function he attended at the weekend. He gave his blunt assessment of the situation in his home state to Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger.

‘The prospect of One Nation doing well at the Queensland election, due in 2018, is being much talked about after Pauline Hanson’s party achieved four senators at the double dissolution, giving it a strong platform.

‘The former Liberal premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, has predicted that whichever party forms the state government next term will need to rely on One Nation. He forecasts One Nation will win between six and 11 state seats and says that present polling is underestimating its real support.

‘One Nation has taken particular heart for its future prospects after the Trump victory, which Hanson celebrated with champagne. Like Trump, One Nation harvested votes from those who feel victims of economic change.’

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