Pauline Hanson on the campaign trail before the election.
Pauline Hanson on the campaign trail before the election. Kate Czerny

Pauline Hanson trails Rickuss in Lockyer nail biter

POSTAL votes will decide the seat of Lockyer and likely deliver sitting LNP MP Ian Rickuss a narrow win over Pauline Hanson.

But the One Nation leader has given Mr Rickuss the fright of his life in one of the most see-sawing preference counts in recent memory.

By the QT's deadline last night Mr Rickuss had 11864 votes to Ms Hanson's 11618, a 246-vote lead.

At 9.30am yesterday, Ms Hanson was ahead by 186 votes, and had increased her advantage to 387 by 10am.

By noon, the LNP MP was ahead by 57 votes. Ms Hanson was back in charge at 2.30pm with a 30 vote advantage.

Adding to the intrigue was an LNP scrutineer on the ground who gave the QT updates which kept us ahead of the ECQ count.

It was Ms Hanson's win in the Hatton Vale booth that stunned the Rickuss camp.

"The one that turned it around for her was at Hatton Vale where she received 873 votes to 648," the scrutineer said.

"That put her ahead after Ian was in the lead for most of the morning."

But the LNP scrutineer said the mood in the Rickuss camp was one of optimism by day's end.

He said:

"With 500 postal votes outstanding, Ian Rickuss probably can't be beaten,"

Ms Hanson was the queen of the country where she won the vital booths of Laidley, Gatton South and Gatton. She took Rosewood and Plainland.

Mr Rickuss dominated the urban booths in Greenbank and Teviot Road.

The big story in all of this is that Labor voters delivered their preferences to One Nation in droves contrary to the Labor how to vote card, which had left Ms Hanson off it.

Most commentators predicted Labor preferences would flow to Mr Rickuss. At times it appeared they were a trickle.

But if Ms Hanson can somehow conjure a win from this position she may well be henceforth known as "Lazarus with a quadruple bypass".

Election oracle Cr Paul Tully, who said he would walk down the main street of Gatton with a sack of potatoes on his back at 2am if Ms Hanson won, probably won't have to drive from Goodna to Gatton in the nocturnal hours.

"But the seat can't be declared until all the postal votes are in," Cr Tully said.

"There is no chance of an official result inside a week and there will almost certainly be a call for a recount."

One LNP scrutineer in the Lockyer told the QT that the anger directed against former Premier Campbell Newman on election day was palpable.

"I'd say 50% walked past us and they were angry. It was like they were walking in with baseball bats," the scrutineer said.

"Many of them were just furious with Campbell Newman and saying, 'How could you have him as the leader?'"

The scrutineer said that it was "unprecedented that 70% of ALP voters do not follow the how to vote card".

"And huge numbers of LNP voters numbered every square when the cards said to 'just vote one'. It was an unprecedented display of almost civil disobedience from the general public against the major parties."

A plethora of Labor voters have gone into the booths with a message to send to the LNP that, despite their party's wishes, they would rather see Ms Hanson in office than Mr Rickuss.

It is clear that they saw the how to vote card, with Ms Hanson off it, as an insult to their intelligence.

One Nation's Ipswich West candidate Chris Reynolds spoke to Ms Hanson yesterday morning and said she told him how surprised she was at how many Labor preferences flowed her way.

"That's something of a statement," Mr Reynolds said.