There was always something strange about the combination of the Queensland Liberal and National parties into a single Liberal National Party. The interests and beliefs of city and country conservatives have their differences but they were papered over in the quest to create the united front that would defeat the dreaded Labor Party.
It might not have worked at the last state election but confidence was high that the next one would see victory under the city-slicker leadership of the former Liberal Mayor of Brisbane Campbell Newman. The opinion pollsters have been putting the LNP as a shoo-in.
And then along comes the federal MP Bob Katter, who sensed that the artificial combination of the two Queensland parties left many in the bush feeling betrayed, and his Australia Party.
As The Australian describes on page one this morning, “Mr Katter’s party — dubbed by former Coalition premier Rob Borbidge as ‘One Nation with a hat’ — is tapping into renewed discontent about the mainstream parties, akin to that which delivered 11 seats to One Nation in 1998, as well as growing anger about farmers’ rights in the face of the spread of mining.”