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Queensland LNP torn on One Nation preferences as Turnbull rules out doing a John Howard

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.’

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