Nominations for the Queensland election closed today, and a list of candidates in ballot paper order is now available from the Electoral Commission of Queensland. The Poll Bludger election guide entries have been updated accordingly. The ballot paper draw is always an eagerly anticipated event as it determines the destination of the donkey vote, reckoned to be up to 1 per cent of the total. However, Queensland’s system of optional preferential voting has a major bearing on the operation of the donkey vote, which has no doubt been the subject of a study that has escaped my attention.
The motive behind most donkey voting is presumably to fulfil the ballot paper’s instructions with the least mental effort possible: in Queensland, the relevant instruction is "place the number one in the square opposite the candidate of your choice", whereas voters in the House of Representatives are advised to "number the boxes from 1 to X in the order of your choice". Therefore, while a federal election will usually deliver a benefit to whichever of the two major party candidates appears ahead of the other, the donkey vote at a Queensland election will only benefit a candidate at the top of the ballot paper. Accordingly, today’s draw can be said to have provided a fillip for Labor in the marginal seats of Aspley, Burleigh, Hervey Bay, Kawana, Redcliffe and Redlands; for the Nationals in Bundaberg, Burnett, Gaven, Keppel, Mulgrave and Nicklin; and for the Liberals in Broadwater, Cairns, Chatsworth, Mundingburra and Townsville. The non-major party sitting member whose re-election appears to be most in doubt, Elisa Roberts in Gympie, has also drawn top position.
Meanwhile, the following electorate entries have now been expanded as part of the progressive reupholstering of the Poll Bludger election guide: Gaven, Townsville, Pumicestone, Mundingburra, Redcliffe, Chatsworth and Gympie.