Crucial seat down to handful of votes

LABOR and the Liberal National Party are neck and neck in the fiercely contested battle for the ultra-marginal seat of Forde.

The seat, which stretches from Logan to parts of the Gold Coast, sits on a notional 0.7 per cent margin and is on paper one of those mostly likely to change if the government falls.

But a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for the Courier Mail reveals the final result could come down to a small number of votes with the parties locked at 50-50.

The poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday nights this week, surveyed 567 voters in Forde.

It found 42 per cent supported LNP MP Bert van Manen -- a small increase from the 40.6 per cent primary vote he achieved in 2016.

Forde Federal electorate candidate Bert Van Manen at the Beenleigh polling booth. Picture: Jerad Williams
Forde Federal electorate candidate Bert Van Manen at the Beenleigh polling booth. Picture: Jerad Williams

But Labor's Des Hardman has similarly seen his support base grow from the last election, which he also contested.

Labor is now on 41 per cent primary, up from 37.6 per cent at the 2016 election.

As a result, the battle for the seat is likely to be extremely close.

In such a tight seat, minor party preferences could decide the result.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation, which did not contest the seat at the last election, is on 7 primary vote according to this poll.

The Greens have 5 per cent support, United Australia Party 4 per cent and Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party 1 per cent, the poll found.

Labor candidate Des Hardman on the campaign trail at Norfolk Village State School talking with teacher Breanna Grimshaw from Shailor Park. Pic Tim Marsden
Labor candidate Des Hardman on the campaign trail at Norfolk Village State School talking with teacher Breanna Grimshaw from Shailor Park. Pic Tim Marsden

Once preferences have been allocated according to current how to vote cards, this leaves both major parties with 50 per cent of the two party preferred result.

Both sides have been pouring resources into the seat, which has a fast growing population that has added to pressures on health services and infrastructure.

The government and opposition have both pledged upgrades to the M1 and commuter car parks.

Logan Hospital, which has one of the worst records for emergency ward waiting times in the state, has also been targeted heavily.

Both sides have pledged $33.4 million for an Urgent and Specialist Care Centre to take pressure off the emergency ward.

Labor has also committed $29.1 million for an extra floor and a new 32-bed ward at the hospital.

But the poll suggests these duelling announcements could have boosted the stocks of both sides, leading to a knife edge result.

If the poll is replicated on election night, the winner may not be known for days.


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