Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls is seen inspecting the Austchilli processing plant in Bundaberg during the Queensland Election campaign on Monday, November 20, 2017. Mr Nicholls is campaigning in the electorate of Bundaberg which is currently held by the ALP's Leanne Donaldson.
Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls is seen inspecting the Austchilli processing plant in Bundaberg during the Queensland Election campaign on Monday, November 20, 2017. Mr Nicholls is campaigning in the electorate of Bundaberg which is currently held by the ALP's Leanne Donaldson. AAP Image - Darren England

QLD VOTES: Bizarre fails on the campaign trail

IT was the hug that blindsided the Premier and sent Labor's campaign into free fall.

One Nation matriarch Pauline Hanson and maverick Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller embraced in the street outside a prepoll booth.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson and ALP member for Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller cosy up. Picture: AAP/Darren England
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson and ALP member for Bundamba, Jo-Ann Miller cosy up. Picture: AAP/Darren England

Mrs Miller then presented Senator Hanson with a gift of a beanie and bootees for her newly-born grandson.

She then laughed when quizzed on whether the warm greeting was a cold and calculated shot across the bow to Annastacia Palaszczuk in the critical final week of the campaign.

Ms Palaszczuk, who has spent the entire campaign attempting to paint the LNP as the party cosying up to One Nation, initially said she was unhappy with the encounter before insisting it was a case of Mrs Miller being "nice".

Tackling Adani

Adani protesters haunted Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) from the moment the she called the November 25 election until she eventually gave them what they wanted.

Adani Coal Mine protesters have kept the pressure on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.  Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
Adani Coal Mine protesters have kept the pressure on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

They crashed the stage during her pivotal first campaign speech and then were themselves crash-tackled after attempting to interrupt a live TV cross on the second morning.

Their protests spanned the entire first week.

Late on Friday at the end of that first week, Ms Palaszczuk herself put Adani back into the news when she called a snap press conference to announce she was moving to veto the Indian mining company's application for a Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan because her partner had worked on the application, causing a conflict of interest.

The enemy within

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow had enjoyed the Premier's backing to run for preselection for Labor in the seat of Rockhampton, sparking a factional brawl.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow, who is now running as an independent.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow, who is now running as an independent.

Cr Strelow lost the local vote and said she would accept that decision.

The Mayor then moved to blindside Ms Palaszczuk in the second week of the campaign, revealing she would now run as an independent in the seat, challenging Labor's candidate Barry O'Rourke.

She did not tell the Premier first with Ms Palaszczuk initially ruling out the possibility when quizzed by journalists ahead of Cr Strelow's announcement.

She blamed the Adani loan veto as being among the reasons for her decision to challenge Labor at the polls.

She was immediately expelled from the party.

The One Nation factor

Tim Nicholls drew the ire of undecided voters at the Sky/Courier-Mail Peoples' Forum when he failed to answer yes or no to a question on whether he would accept One Nation's support to form government.

Protesters show Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls hand-in-hand with One Nation Leader Senator Pauline Hanson. Picture: AAP/Jono Searle
Protesters show Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls hand-in-hand with One Nation Leader Senator Pauline Hanson. Picture: AAP/Jono Searle

He then scored another own goal on the issue when he answered "pass" when quizzed on the same issue on breakfast radio.

But it was on the eve of polling day that Mr Nicholls completely stumbled with an unfortunate slip of the tongue.

"The simple message is if you want a government, a stable majority government with the financial credentials to deliver jobs, to cut your cost of living to reduce power bills, to invest in infrastructure, then the best thing to do is to support your local LNP-One N, ah, LNP candidate at the election," he told Sunrise. Mr Nicholls later blamed the long campaign for the slip up.

The Battler Bus

Pauline Hanson burst on to the hustings in the second week with her Battler Bus, promising to drive up the coast to spread One Nation's message and bolster its vote in the leadup to polling day.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with the One Nation “Battler Bus” which has had less than clear sailing. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with the One Nation “Battler Bus” which has had less than clear sailing. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

The bus started strongly before engine troubles and a trainwreck press conference over a candidate sex shop scandal saw her campaign foray itself derailed.

Senator Hanson was blindsided by lewd posts made on the Facebook page of Thuringowa candidate Mark Thornton's sex shop Cupid's Cabin.

Her campaign was then set back again when her newest Senator Fraser Anning defected from One Nation almost immediately after he was sworn in, handing a win to Labor who used the defection to push its message that voting for the resurgent right-wing party would end in "chaos".



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