As we outlined last week, with many electorates expected to go down to the wire, preferencing is becoming increasingly important to the overall outcome of the election.
Voters ultimately make the decision as to who they preference, but many often follow the how-to-vote cards handed out by parties on election day.
As it stands, the Coalition has made a potentially valuable deal with Mr Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party. Mr Palmer will preference the Coalition second across all 151 lower-house seats and in return the Coalition will preference the United Australia party either second or third in the Senate.
The ALP criticised this move, with Senator Anthony Chisholm, who was accused of seeking a deal with Mr Palmer, commenting that Mr Palmer is ‘chaotic and dishonest’ and that ‘at no stage did I negotiate or offer Mr Palmer anything in regard to preferences. I was not authorised to offer anything, and I didn’t’.
Amongst other news concerning her party this week, Senator Pauline Hanson announced that One Nation would be giving preferential treatment to some Liberal candidates and all Nationals MPs.
Despite the controversy that surrounded Senator Fraser Anning and the subsequent resolution by the Morrison Government that One Nation would be preferenced last across the country, the Liberal National Party in Queensland will direct preferences to One Nation ahead of Labor and the Greens in some seats.
In a statement this week, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, said that the deal made sense, saying ‘the fact is Pauline Hanson acknowledges that our policies are more closely aligned with the interests and wants of her voters than the Greens or Labor’.
In response, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, distanced the Liberals from the Nationals, stating, ‘we’re two separate parties … The One Nation Party have made their decision, the Nationals have made their decision. So that’s a matter for the National Party’.