Image; Courtesy, Smokers Rights Party.
There is quite a bit of speculation around the ridges at present over the way that preferences will be allocated by the new parties of Bob Katter and Clive Palmer leading up to the election. A couple of days ago there was the suggestion of a swap by both, which would make sense but they can’t agree over gay marriage. Apparently Clive’s for it but Bob’s not that keen on him.
The ABC is now breathlessly talking up the possibility of a Katter’s Australian Party - Rudd preference swap. This has caused some speculation that in return for ALP preferences going to Katter in the senate before the Greens, Katter would preference Labor in the House of Representatives:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has side-stepped questions about a possible preference deal between Labor and Katter's Australian Party. Both major parties are courting Bob Katter for preferences.
Campaigning today in the north Queensland city of Townsville, Mr Rudd has joked about Mr Katter being a good friend of his for years, saying it is odd given the two Queenslanders are from different sides of politics.
But he would not say whether he is confident Mr Katter will direct preferences to Labor. "On questions of preferences, they are dealt with through the parties' organisations," he said.
On the surface there is a remote possibility of some sort of deal between the two as Katter has a deep and pathological hatred of the Liberals. On the other hand Bob has always presented himself as a conservative to his deeply conservative electorate, making it difficult for him to preference parties on the left ahead of other conservatives.
Were he to preference Labor it would be doubtful if many KAP supporters would follow the how to vote card, especially in the house election. The knowledge that senate preferences were going to Labor in the senate might cause many Katter voters to vote below the line, or switch to the LNP.
If Katter were to do this, resulting in a Labor win, he would be in the same position that country independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott are in today as result of their support for the Gillard government. Both have decided to quit politics rather than be totally humiliated by standing again.
If Katter inflicts Rudd on us for another three years he will be less welcome than a dose of clap in the bush.