LNP turns to Palmer to save its skin
THE LNP has boosted its election hopes in key seats after it broke away from national negotiations last night and implemented its own two-month deal in the making with Clive Palmer.
Mr Palmer will now almost certainly be returned to the Senate after Acting LNP president David Hutchinson agreed in principle to lock in Mr Palmer as number 2 on the LNP's Senate and House of Representatives how-to-vote cards.
But controversial Senator Fraser Anning is likely to booted, with him to be placed last, below One Nation.
It is understood the crucial talks between Mr Hutchinson and Mr Palmer started directly after The Courier-Mail published a YouGov Galaxy poll in February that revealed Scott Morrison had lost support in Queensland and wrote that "a cashed-up Clive Palmer (could be) kingmaker on election night".
It is likely Mr Palmer will preference the LNP second on his how-to-vote cards.
It could gives the LNP a shot in the arm to pick up Herbert in North Queensland, help Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who faced a barrage of candidates preferencing against him in 2016, plus preference flows in marginal seats of Forde, Petrie and Dickson.
It is understood Mr Hutchinson wanted to preference Mr Palmer because he is pro-jobs and pro-coal.
On the Senate how-to-vote card, the LNP was working towards putting Katter's Australian Party at number 3 and Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservatives party number 4.
Highly-placed sources said the LNP told Mathias Cormann, who is the Government's minister-in-residence during the election campaign and working on preferences, would do their own deal because of the unique circumstances of three Queensland-based vanity parties.
Senator Hanson will go behind Labor in Liberal held seats but the Nationals may not follow.
Pauline Hanson's One Nation have lashed out with a spokesman ruling out further talks with the LNP.
"We're not dealing with them on anything," he said.
There were flurried negotiations taking place across all parties last night after the Australian Electoral Commission ballot draw yesterday revealed the full list of candidates running in Senate and lower house.
The deal with the LNP will give Mr Palmer his best chance of securing a Senate spot, while could help deliver the ultra-marginal Herbert to the Coalition, though final details were still being negotiated.
It is a blow to One Nation's chances of getting Senate candidate Malcolm Roberts back into Parliament.
But ongoing talks with Katter's Australian Party could give PHON a boost in its own Senate fortunes.
Pauline Hanson's One Nation is running candidates in all seats but Kennedy, where it is understood there is a deal with MP Bob Katter.
The Courier-Mail has previously revealed the two parties were in talks to form an alliance of "like-minded parties" to bolster their federal election chance.
But a preference talks in the House of Representatives is understood to still ongoing.
One Nation preferences already helped the KAP win a third seat in the 2017 state election.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday defended the negotiations with Mr Palmer's United Australia Party, given the businessman's record in Parliament and Queensland Nickel.
"It's not for me to issue defences of Clive Palmer, that's for him to do," he said.
"I'm not suggesting people should vote for Clive Palmer, I'm suggesting people should vote Liberal."
Fraser Anning's Conservative National party has managed to field a candidate in every seat.
The Greens are expected to benefit from any Labor Senate votes, beyond the quota required two candidates over the line.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters, facing a difficult task in her re-election, she was surprised by the "absolute plethora of right-wing parties" on the Senate ballot.
"Hopefully Queenslanders put them on a hiding to nothing," she said.
One Nation secured the top billing on the Senate ballot, followed by the United Australian Party, which could give them a slight advantage, while the LNP were fourth and Labor 10th.
One Nation and United Australia's Greg Dowling again secured first and second spots on the Herbert ballot paper and the LNP's Phillip Thompson was above incumbent Cathy O'Toole.
With the seat held by just 37 votes the slight advantage could secure victory.
Dickson, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton scored the second spot above Labor's Ali France, giving him slight advantage in the marginal seat.
LUCK OF THE DRAW
Candidate order in Queensland's most marginal seats
FLITCROFT, Simon E F - United Australia Party
BELL, Barbara - The Greens
SYMES, Ian - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
VASTA, Ross - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
MAYNARD, Alex - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
BRISKEY, Jo - Australian Labor Party
BAMBRICK, Paul - The Greens
BIRKBECK, George - Katter's Australian Party (KAP)
TEMPLE, Richard - Labour DLP
MURRAY, Ken - Independent
LANDRY, Michelle - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
ROBERTSON, Russell - Australian Labor Party
ROTHERY, Wade - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
STURGEON, Lindsay - UAP
PRATT, Grant - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
WARE, Ann-Maree - Labour DLP
TURNER, Michael Wayne - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
LAWSON, Debra - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
CHRISTENSEN, George - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
HASSAN, Belinda - Australian Labor Party
BUNYAN, Brendan - Katter's Australian Party (KAP)
LINDENBERG, Imogen - The Greens
QUEENAN, Lachlan - Independent
THOMPSON. Colin Richard - UAP
COYNE, Benedict - The Greens
DUTTON, Peter - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
FRANCE, Ali - Australian Labor Party
PROHASKA, Thor - Independent
AUSTIN, Steve - United Australia Party
HALLIWELL, Carrol - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
SIMPSON, Richelle - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
BROHMAN, Maureen - Animal Justice Party
BEERS, Zac - Australian Labor Party
HARRIS, Nathan David - United Australia Party
BAKER, Jaiben - The Greens
PETERSON, Murray - Independent
LOHSE, Sharon - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
SCOTT, Duncan George - Independent
HIESLER, Marcus John - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
O'DOWD, Ken - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
BOWRON, Ian - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
PETERSEN, Kirsty - The Greens
CREIGHTON, Paul - United Australia Party
VAN MANEN, Bert - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
HARDMAN, Des - Australian Labor Party
INNES, Les - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
LOHSE, Amy - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
DOWLING, Greg - United Australia Party
RADECK, Nanette - Katter's Australian Party (KAP)
BLACKADDER, Sam - The Greens
THOMPSON, Phillip - Liberal National Party of Queensland
DURANT, Tamara - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
SEVERNS, Mackenzie - Animal Justice Party
O'TOOLE, Cathy - Australian Labor Party (incumbent)
ASHBY, Jo - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
ANDERSON, Chad - Independent
FAITH, Elida - Australian Labor Party
MACDONALD, Ross - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
McCARTHY, Daniel - Katter's Australian Party (KAP)
SACKLEY, Jen - United Australia Party
ENTSCH, Warren - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
OLIVER, Gary - The Greens
HOPKINS, Troy - United Australia Party
HOWARTH, Luke - Liberal National Party of Queensland (incumbent)
AAI REDDY, Nikhil - Pauline Hanson's One Nation
MULHOLLAND, Corinne - Australian Labor Party
FOWLER, Neville John - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
KENNEDY, Jason - The Greens