TLDR – Yes, she could, but it’s going to be close.
On Saturday night, it was a minor story that Pauline Hanson had polled quite highly in the south-east Queensland seat of Lockyer, winning 27.3% of the primary vote, ahead of Labor but 6% behind sitting Liberal National MP Ian Rickuss, who polled 33.7%.
Because Hanson didn’t run in 2012, the ECQ on election night conducted an indicative two-party-preferred count between Labor and the LNP. This meant we didn’t have any idea how preferences would split between the LNP and Hanson, who is running again for One Nation.
Late this afternoon the ECQ started posting results of a new two-candidate-preferred (2CP) count between Hanson and Rickuss, and it has Pauline Hanson leading in the count.
There are 32 regular booths in Lockyer, in addition to a variety of prepoll centres, and postal and absentee votes. So far, 2CP results have only been released for five booths, which all are favourable to Hanson.
While Hanson so far has polled 27.3% across Lockyer, she has polled 34.1% in the five booths where preferences have been distributed. The LNP’s vote is 2.2% lower in these five booths, and the Labor vote is 3.6% lower.
In addition, there are large numbers of postal, pre-poll and absentee votes, which should favour the major parties. These votes are likely to strengthen the LNP position.
But what would happen if you took the preference flows from these five booths and applied them to the remaining primary votes that have been counted so far?
In short, the result would be extremely close. Preferences so far have flowed 26.5% LNP, 43% Hanson and 30.5% exhausted.
This would result in Hanson polling 11,262 votes, and Rickuss polling 11,238 – a gap of 24 votes.