Arthur Sinodinos is on the verge of being the federal finance minister if the Coalition wins the election. But a bizarre set of preference swaps could see him defeated first by Pauline Hanson.
Senate preference tickets lodged with the Australian Electoral Commission show that virtually every small right-of-centre party is directing preferences to the One Nation leader ahead of Senator Sinodinos - who sits third on the Coalition ticket.
Serious political potential: Ms Hanson could reap a significant number of preferences from voters cast for other parties. Photo: Jacky Ghossein
In 2004, when Ms Hanson ran for the Senate in Queensland, she won 4.5 per cent of the vote. Trial runs by Fairfax Media using ABC election analyst Anthony Green's online Senate calculator suggest that if she wins just half of that this time, 2.25 per cent, she is on track to take Senator Sinodinos' seat.
If so, it would be a big blow to a Coalition government. Senator Sinodinos, a former senior Treasury economist, was long-time chief of staff to then prime minister John Howard, and is one of the most widely respected figures on either side
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