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9.30am Update: Hanson ahead by 186 votes in Lockyer


One Nation leader Pauline Hanson speaking
 at the Lockyer Meet the Candidates forum
.
LABOR voters in the country booths in the seat of Lockyer have ignored their how to vote cards and given One Nation's Pauline Hanson an early lead in the showdown with LNP MP Ian Rickuss.

All eyes will be on the suburban booths closer to Ipswich today to see if that trend continues.

After preferences in 11 of the 61 booths had been counted on Monday, Ms Hanson had 51.77% of the vote with Mr Rickuss on 48.23%.

Ms Hanson had 4044 votes to Mr Rickuss' 3768, a lead of 276.

Election expert Cr Paul Tully told the QT last night, before putting it on his blog, that he would walk down the main street of Gatton at 2am with a sack of potatoes on his back if Ms Hanson wins.

Cr Tully said that the Labor preferences would get Mr Rickuss over the line in the end.

He may well prove to be correct, but it appears Labor voters in the country booths have not followed the how to vote cards which left Ms Hanson off the preference list.

Scrutineers have given the QT an insight into what is going on.
Pauline Hanson, David Neuendorf, Clare Rudkin, Ian Rickuss
 and Steve Leese at the Meet the Candidates Forum
 in Gatton last week.

"Of ALP people, 70% have ignored the how to vote cards at this stage," one LNP scrutineer said. "What we are seeing in the booths I have watched, and they are not necessarily a representative sample, is 30% of the ALP vote exhausting, about 40% of preferences are going to Hanson and about 30% to Rickuss.

"We are seeing different figures across the board.

"Rickuss' problem is that with the Green preferences about 40% are exhausting and about 30% each are going to Hanson and Rickuss.

"Of the Katter Party's preferences about 25% of them are exhausting. Hanson is getting about 50% of them but Rickuss is getting about 15% of the residuals.

"Palmer United have got very similar figures with 40% exhausting, 50% going to Hanson and 10% to Rickuss.

"These figures are from a range of different booths but we haven't seen the big ones down at Ipswich yet to see what is happening to them."

The scrutineer said that the word from the Greenbank, Teviot Road and Ipswich booths such as Willowbank and Yamanto was that Labor voters there were following their how to vote card which would help Mr Rickuss.
Ian Rickuss

"But it is extremely tight. Pauline is actually at the count watching it as it is happening," the scrutineer said. "She is quite convivial."

Sitting LNP MP Mr Rickuss declared victory on Sunday, but only because he was misled by a major error by the ECQ.

As reported by the QT website, the error was detected by Queensland's leading election expert Cr Paul Tully after he noted the ECQ site had the two-candidate preferred count as a contest between Mr Rickuss and fourth-placed KAP candidate David Neuendorf, when it should have been between Mr Rickuss and the second placed Ms Hanson.

The ECQ had Mr Rickuss well ahead of Mr Neuendorf.

Cr Tully sent out a tweet about the error and the ECQ pulled the incorrect preference allocation off its site.

The recount with Ms Hanson and Mr Rickuss commenced on Monday and kicks-off again at 8.30am today.

The LNP scrutineer told the QT that the ECQ was "doing a check count on everything, and they are now allocating the two-party preferred preferences".
Labor candidate for the Seat of Lockyer, Steve Leese.

"So they are now going through all of the booths once more.

"There will be a full recount eventually we suspect, demanded by both sides.

"They got through 11 booths yesterday and they have a lot more to go through today."

Poll experts believe that Ms Hanson may just fall short of victory in a close Lockyer election re-count of preferences.

Cr Tully said big Labor booths in places like Greenbank and Willowbank had not yet been counted and Ms Hanson needed 70% of the Labor preferences to win.

"How good a position she is in is in the eye of the beholder," Cr Tully said. "She may sneak over the line."

Another keen poll observer, William Bowe, told crikey.com.au that the current situation was as good as it would get for Ms Hanson.

"Her primary vote in the booths that have reported is 34.1%, compared to 27.4% in the electorate at large," Mr Bowe told the website.

"Presumably her preference share will be correspondingly lower in the rest of the electorate as well."