Why right-wing candidates spell good news for Labor in Blair
THE high-number of right-wing candidates running in Ipswich will split the conservative vote and increase the likelihood of a Labor victory at next month's federal election, two political analysts believe.
Six of the nine candidates standing in Blair are on the right side of politics.
Only Labor's Shayne Neumann and Greens candidate Michelle Duncan are on the left, while independent candidate Simone Karandrews policies largely align with Labor.
Voters must number every box on the Blair ballot paper, which will create a challenge for the LNP, Griffith University political analyst Paul Williams believes.
"The more right-wing populism you get in a field, the more damage to the LNP," he said.
"If you're a conservative voter who hates the major parties, this is where the problem is, you're spoiled for choice.
"The vast bulk of these voters would be coming of the LNP's base."
Dr Williams said it was not unexpected to have so many conservative candidates in Ipswich.
"Blair, in 1988, showed great support for One Nation.
"You might say it is first-hole ground for right-wing populism. It's between rural and urban Australia," Dr Williams said.
The high number of right-wing candidates in Blair has also created problems for Labor.
The party seriously toiled over which right-wing candidate, from parties One Nation or Fraser Anning, and candidate Sandy Turner, to put last.
Labor is expected to put Fraser Anning last, with One Nation second last and Sandy Turner third last.
Dr Williams said Prime Minister Scott Morrison would take some of the Coalition's vote back in Queensland.
"If Malcolm Turnbull had been taking the Coalition to this election, it would be much more of a problem," he said.
University of Southern Queensland pro-vice chancellor John Cole agreed the broad field would help Mr Neumann.
He predicted a low protest vote to minor parties in Blair.
"With a highly organised Labor opposition leader and an incumbent hanging on from the LNP in ScoMo, I don't see the vote going all over the place," he said.
Professor Cole said the Greens were disciplined in preferencing back to Labor and said the high number of right-of-centre candidates meant there was no clear beacon for conservative voters.
"It really is a fragmentation of the protest vote," he said.
Professor Cole expected the high number of candidates would swing the electorate in favour of Mr Neumann.
"One or two independents can have an impact but when there's a few more it probably won't," he said.
Pre-poll starts today.