One Nation defection could backfire on MP

Melissa Grant

Steve Dickson's defection from the Liberal National Party to One Nation is likely to backfire and cost him his seat, a political analyst says.

The long-term Buderim MP took all by surprise with his shock switch on Friday morning, but Griffith University political expert Paul Williams says Mr Dickson has made himself vulnerable at the next state election.

The Sunshine Coast electorate is an extremely safe LNP seat and Dr Williams calculates he has a 40 per cent chance of keeping the seat after joining One Nation, despite being well liked.

"I'd say the odds are stacked against him given it's strong LNP territory ... he's a popular candidate but it's still a tall order," he told AAP.

Dr Williams also said Labor preferencing the LNP over One Nation wouldn't help Mr Dickson's chances, while the LNP were unlikely to preference someone who "ratted on their party".

While Senator Hanson flagged the announcement of Mr Dickson's defection as a "game-changing" election move, Dr Williams believes it won't be.

"I still think the LNP will finish with the most seats but it will be a hung parliament," he said.

Dr Williams predicted One Nation could end up with anywhere between one and 15 seats, but that depended on how preferences flowed.

He warned the poll could deliver the most "fraught and factitious" parliament in history.

"One Nation is more different from the LNP than the LNP is from Labor," he said.

"Obviously they (LNP) are trying to get (leader) Tim Nicholls in the premier's seat but it's going to cost them with an unworkable government."

Mr Nicholls again side-stepped questions on Friday about whether the LNP will preference One Nation, saying preferences weren't on his radar.

But Dr Williams suspects the LNP is weighing up how it could give One Nation preferences, a move which would cost the party dearly in Brisbane electorates.

Telling voters they preferred Pauline Hanson to the Labor Party would be a hard sell for the LNP which may end up splitting its preferences, he said.

The election is due by early 2018 but there's a growing belief it will be in the second half of this year with Labor likely to wait until after they deliver a voter-friendly budget.

The LNP opened nominations for Buderim on Friday afternoon.