HEAD TO HEAD: Sky News frontman Peter Gleeson was in Gladstone on 1 May to hold a Flynn candidates' discussion streamed live on The Observer's and the Courier Mail's website including LNP's sitting member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Labor candidate Zac Beers.
HEAD TO HEAD: Sky News frontman Peter Gleeson was in Gladstone on 1 May to hold a Flynn candidates' discussion streamed live on The Observer's and the Courier Mail's website including LNP's sitting member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Labor candidate Zac Beers. Matt Taylor GLA010519SKYN

'Slightly favoured': Experts and bookie share Flynn insights

AS EIGHT contenders jostle for victory in the seat of Flynn, political experts and an online bookmaker share their insights as the votes come rolling in.

QUT political lecturer and former federal member for Forde Dr Mary Crawford, who held the seat from 1987-1996, said political disengagement and preferences would play a big role.

"I think there are a lot of people who have been disengaged, who are distrustful of politics, particularly over the past 10 years with Rudd/ Gillard/ Rudd and then Abbott/ Turnbull/ Morrison,” Dr Crawford said.

"Even though Labor has had the same leader for the last six years people seem to be taking out their rage on all sides.

"It's a marginal seat of course, down to 1 per cent.

"Zac Beers has been very active out there for the past 12-18 months but there's also a lot of other candidates.”

One Nation, Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party and Clive Palmer's United Australia Party are all vying for a share of votes alongside the Liberal National Party.

Dr Crawford said if people followed the how-to-vote-card preferences of the minor parties, preferences would automatically go to incumbent MP, the LNP's Ken O'Dowd.

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Dr Mary Crawford.

"The only preference that would appear to go to Zac Beers would come from the Greens,” she said.

"Overall it's a patchwork and people are voting on all sorts of things: climate change, Adani, distrust, education, health and older voters are voting on franking credits even though it only affects 4 per cent of the population.

"Queensland tends to have a 'stick-it-up-them' view and sometimes that can be voting against their own interest but they often don't see that.

"Flynn is very much up for grabs and it certainly looks like it will go down to preferences.”

Political commentator and UQ lecturer Dr Chris Salisbury said Flynn was traditionally a conservative voting area, which he expected to be reflected in the final result.

Dr Salisbury said the Labor Party was still very hopeful that its candidate Zac Beers would pick up the seat, despite it not being regularly held by Labor.

"The candidate has made overtures to conservative-minded voters in Flynn, coming out and making announcements in favour of resources projects like Adani and others and the jobs they would bring,” Dr Salisbury said.

Given that Mr O'Dowd has held the seat for nine years and is well known throughout the electorate, Dr Salisbury said he was "slightly favoured” to secure another term.

Sky News frontman Peter Gleeson was in Gladstone on 1 May to hold a Flynn candidates' discussion streamed live on The Observer's and the Courier Mail's website including LNP's sitting member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Labor candidate Zac Beers.
LNP sitting member Ken O'Dowd and Labor candidate Zac Beers. Matt Taylor GLA010519SKYN

Mr O'Dowd's slight favouritism has transferred to the betting market with online bookmaker Ladbrokes listing the incumbent MP as a $1.70 favourite ahead of Mr Beers at $2 at 12.30pm Friday.

Ladbrokes head of media Roger Oldridge said staff hadn't seen a massive amount of betting action in Flynn but there had been a late push for the Coalition.

"They opened $3.25 and have been backed into $1.70,” Mr Oldridge said.

"We have seen more money for the Coalition than the ALP but it wouldn't be enough to justify a trend.

"The money must have come with another agency and our bookmakers adjusted accordingly.

"The biggest bet we have taken for Flynn is $200 at $3.25 on the LNP.”

Dr Crawford said bookies were mostly correct.

"But on the other hand, they totally misjudged the most recent American election,” Dr Crawford said.

"I think you can look at the bookie and say they are more often right than wrong in the context of Australia.

"They say incumbency gives you a 1 per cent lead but on the other hand we've seen incumbents often thrown out so I don't think any of those rules hold true now.”

Flynn odds

Coalition - $1.70

ALP - $2

One Nation - $15

Greens - $17

United Australia Party - $41

Others not listed. Odds correct as at 12.30pm Friday, May 17.