LNP ‘realistic’ on by-elections, declare 22yo candidate

Fraser Barton |

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has played down the LNP’s prospects at upcoming by-elections.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli has played down the LNP’s prospects at upcoming by-elections.

Queensland’s opposition leader admits he is realistic about the LNP’s chances at upcoming by-elections as he announced a 22-year-old candidate in the October state election.

By-elections in Inala and Ipswich West will run concurrently with statewide local government elections on Saturday after former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk resigned from office in December and Labor MP Jim Madden departed in January.

Mr Madden will stay in politics and run for election in the Ipswich City Council. 

Both Inala and Ipswich West are Labor strongholds with the margin in Inala exceeding 15 per cent and Ipswich West slightly less.  

Margie Nightingale is Labor’s candidate for Ms Palaszczuk’s old seat of Inala and will go up against Trang Yen for the LNP.

Wendy Bourne will run for Labor in Ipswich West against the LNP’s Darren Zanow.

Premier Steven Miles concedes his government is expecting significant swings against it in both electorates.

“The result you see in by-elections in the lead-up to elections aren’t very good predictors of what will happen at that election but yes, of course, we are expecting a very substantial swing,” Mr Miles said on Sunday.

LNP leader David Crisafulli said he would not get ahead of himself about potential swings.

“We’ve been realistic about this,” Mr Crisafulli said on Monday. 

“These are Labor party heartland and one of them is the jewel in the crown – the other one is approaching 15 per cent. 

“I know the political reality, but we put forward really, really good quality candidates and we’re doing that because we want Queenslanders to know that there is a better way and there is an opportunity to send a message where things aren’t right in the state.”

Mr Crisafulli on Monday announced two candidates – one aged 22 – who will target the most marginal seats in the October 26 state election.

The LNP needs to win an additional 14 seats to swing the pendulum towards it.

Ariana Doolan, 22, has been backed by the LNP to challenge Labor MP Ali King in Pumicestone where the government’s margin is just over five per cent.

A victory in Pumicestone would make Ms Doolan the youngest woman ever elected to the state parliament.

The title of youngest-ever Queensland parliamentarian resides with LNP state party leader and Goondiwindi Mayor Lawrence Springborg, who was elected aged 21.

Ms Doolan said she was not daunted by a tilt at parliament. 

“He (Mr Springborg) did just fine so I think I’ll be OK,” she said on Monday. 

The LNP also announced former local councillor Amanda Cooper would recontest the seat of Aspley.