One Nation's Capricornia candidate happy to be the underdog
RECENT betting odds in the imminent federal election for Capricornia are pointing towards a Labor landslide but One Nation's candidate for Capricornia Wade Rothery says he's happy with the underdog status against the "cocky major parties".
Sportsbet has installed Labor's Russell Robertson as the electorate favourite paying $1.20, ahead of incumbent LNP member of parliament Michelle Landry at $4, followed by the long shots of Mr Rothery's One Nation Party at $21, an unnominated Greens candidate at $31 and roughie United Australia Party candidate Lindsay Sturgeon paying $41.
The fact that Mr Rothery is paying such long odds of $21 is surprising, given the success the straight shooting ex-rugby league player experienced finishing second to Labor's Barry O'Rourke in the 2017 Queensland election campaign.
After a short campaign, Wade Rothery secured 44.8% of the two-party-preferred votes against Labor, out-gunning high profile Independent candidate Margaret Strelow and the LNP's Douglas Rodgers along the way.
Meanwhile in the seat of Keppel, One Nation candidate's Matt Loth also finished a respectable second to Keppel's incumbent Labor MP Brittany Lauga, securing 46.9% of the two-party-preferred votes.
Mr. Rothery said after marrying my wife nine years ago, he's had plenty of people tell him that he's been batting above his average for quite some time.
"If I can maintain that batting average in the world of politics, it would be the first time One Nation has held the seat of Capricornia," Mr Rothery said.
He said One Nation came close to winning 21 seats across Queensland at the 2017 state election, but were thwarted by the LNP and Labor parties choosing to preference one another on how-to-vote cards in a number of seats which the minor party would otherwise have won.
"Voters need to understand that they decide where their preferences go and not the major parties", he said.
"How-to-vote cards are simply a recommendation, and when people go into the voting booth, they hold the pen or pencil, so it's up to them to decide how they number the candidates."
Mr Rothery described Labor as becoming "extremely arrogant" two months out from the federal election, believing they're a "shoo-in" to win Capricornia.
"As a former footy player, I've played plenty of games where we've gone into a match with the odds against us, only to win and shock our supporters," Mr Rothery said.
"I'm not deterred by the odds set by bookies - in fact, they've driven me to go harder during this campaign and ensure One Nation's policies are better explained to voters across Capricornia.
"I truly believe people have had a gutful of the two major parties. Capricornia voters want politicians to stop rubbishing coal and focus on cheaper power prices, water security, family law reform, less interference by Government and economic security which has been missing from our region for far too long."
Mr Robertson described the accusation by Mr Rothery of him becoming arrogant as "out of touch".
"I'm a pretty ordinary, everyday coal miner. I just want to do the work and let the people make the decision," he said.