Dawson MP George Christensen.
Dawson MP George Christensen. Emma Murray

Christensen at risk of loss over "Member for Manila" claims

THE campaign to discredit George Christensen's commitment to his electorate could destabilise his position in Dawson according to ABC show Insiders.

Mr Christensen has been scrutinised for using his parliamentary travel allowance to travel from Canberra to Sydney and Brisbane for a connecting flight to the Philippines.

Insiders host Barrie Cassidy said the fact the MP had spent so much time in the Philippines and not in his electorate could cause issues for his campaign.

Mr Cassidy, asked why no one was questioning the rules that allowed Mr Christensen to travel for about 70 days each year to Manila.

"Have you heard a single politician say as a result of what we've heard here, that we the politicians ought to tighten up our own rules? They're not," he said.

ABC political editor Andrew Probyn said One Nation candidate Debra Lawson's preferences could cause problems for the MP.

"George Christensen did a sweetheart deal with Pauline Hanson in 2016, One Nation did not run in Dawson, there is now a woman called Deb Lawson ... if she gets 15-20 per cent of the vote which some people expect in that area it's going to be how those votes are distributed," Mr Probyn said.

"It's 53-47 at the moment, but it's actually quite hard to work out what would happen (in Dawson)."

Mr Probyn said a One Nation preference deal made an impact in Herbert and Longman, when the party preferences went to Labor.

Guest journalist David Marr said, even if a preference deal was worked out, he was not sure One Nation voters would be forgiving of Mr Christensen "rorting" the system.

A spokeswoman for Mr Christensen declined to comment and said the decision for no campaigning or commentary on Easter Sunday should be respected.


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