Amy Remeikis reports in the Brisbane Times (1.2.17) on internal struggles within the LNP as it determines whether to enter preference negotiations with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party ahead of a state election in Queensland.
‘Queensland’s LNP is facing a dilemma over how to handle One Nation preferences, as it attempts to balance contrasting views from its city and country members in the face of a growing threat from the outlier party.
‘And Malcolm Turnbull is unlikely to help them solve it, with the Prime Minister shying away from issuing a John Howard-style decree to preference One Nation last, as conservatives struggle to combat Pauline Hanson’s appeal without alienating a shared voter base.
‘It has left the LNP with a conundrum, as it publicly refuses to rule out any preference deal. Internally, party sources say, debate continues to rage between the potential gains a preference deal could mean in regional and rural electorates and the possibility of a backlash that same deal could bring from south-east voters.
‘”There are those who see it as a Faustian bargain and those who see it as the saving grace,” one senior LNP member told Fairfax Media.’