Candidates lining up: Anning

Anning plans to field candidates in all states, expert doubts ability


Federal Election National News
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Avoiding the possibility of dual citizenship is one of the main priorities of the five teams said to be sifting through applications from people putting their hand up to be a candidate for the newly-minted Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party.

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Fiona and Fraser Anning on the banks of the Balonne River in Queensland. Picture supplied.

Fiona and Fraser Anning on the banks of the Balonne River in Queensland. Picture supplied.

Avoiding the possibility of dual citizenship is one of the main priorities of the five teams said to be sifting through applications from people putting their hand up to be a candidate for the newly-minted Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party.

Senator Anning said he had postponed a planned national tour to deal with the influx of support since the party was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission a fortnight ago.

"We have been overwhelmed," he said.

"We are asking, are they members of the party, can they prove they don't have dual citizenship, is there any criminal record, have they been bankrupt, and then we see if their ideas align with ours.

"If they read my maiden (parliamentary) speech and saw something that worried them, they're probably not for us."

He said the priority was fielding candidates in the 30 Queensland electorates but the party ambitiously wanted to have lower house representatives in every state.

It also wanted to run Senate candidates in every state and territory, four or five in Queensland and two or three in the other states.

Senator Anning said the people putting their hand up to stand for the party liked the way Australia once was.

"Foreign aid and Muslim immigration is driving much of our support," he said. "And people have had a gutful of people getting elected and party politics kicking in."

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University of Queensland political commentator Dr Chris Salisbury thought the Senate was where Mr Anning's new party would be likely to capture any disaffected vote, rather than in lower house seats.

"In an environment where people are looking to make a protest vote, the Senate is the most likely place we'll see that," he said. "It will come down to the major parties capturing most of the 30 lower house seats in Queensland."

He thought Mr Anning would be in the mix to be elected but not in the front running, given the increased number of parties on the right side of politics contesting the field and because the party was so newly registered and presumably lacking in solid financial backing.

As well, the last election saw a quota of 7.7 per cent needed to win a Senate seat, but in a half Senate election, which next month's will be, the quota will be raised to 14.3pc.

"It's not to say he won't attract votes," Dr Salisbury said. "His rhetoric resonates with some, but it's a fairly contested field.

"I'm not seeing a lot of advertising or formal structure to the party.

"I don't get the idea that the party is functioning in a way that fully formed parties do.

"Even Pauline Hanson's One Nation doesn't claim to have operative branches in all states - it's a big ask.

"I'd be surprised if he had both the money and support base."

Dr Salisbury said preferences were another important consideration, and given the censure motion carried against Mr Anning by both major parties in parliament, he didn't think either would be rushing to make a deal.

Mr Anning said his party would definitely have a How to Vote card and would be preferencing other minor conservative parties.

"Labor and the Greens will be an absolute disaster," he said. "Shorten will take us over the cliff in short order and Morrison will just take a little longer."

While they had started from a low financial base, Mr Anning said within the first 10 hours of the party's registration it had 500 paid members and 1000 in 30 hours.

"It's humbling the amount of people behind us," he said.

Mr Anning entered federal parliament as a senator for One Nation after Malcolm Roberts was found ineligible because of dual citizenship.

He resigned from the party within hours of arriving in Canberra, sitting as an independent until Katter's Australian Party signed him up.

KAP expelled him after his maiden speech proposed a "final solution" to the immigration problem and commented on non-European immigration.

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