Analyst predicts Bert van Manen's time might be up in Forde

GRIFFITH University political analyst Paul Williams predicts LNP Forde MP Bert van Manen will struggle to survive an anti-government swing in the upcoming federal election.

TOUGH BATTLE: Forde MP Bert van Manen says he is not taking the seat of Forde for granted.

TOUGH BATTLE: Forde MP Bert van Manen says he is not taking the seat of Forde for granted.

Dr Williams said Mr van Manen was a local, unassuming guy who had been an effective local member for the past nine years.

“But I think his time might be up,” Dr Williams said.

“I think the swing could swallow up Mr van Manen this time.”

The analyst said he expected a swing in Queensland of four to five per cent, mirroring the rest of the country.

Mr van Manen holds Forde with a slender 0.6 per cent margin. 

Dr Williams’ comments come as Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited south-east Queensland electorates last week to promise pre-election infrastructure spending.

Mr Morrison announced $130 million to upgrade the Mount Lindesay Highway, M1 and Ipswich Motorway on Friday, February 1 ahead of his visit to Emmaus College, Jimboomba.

When asked if he was confident of retaining Forde for a fourth term, Mr van Manen said he was not taking his marginal seat for granted.

“It’s always been an honour to represent the people in the community I grew up in,” he said.

“My focus is on winning the next election to keep fighting for the people of Forde and the issues that matter.

“We have received record funding in health, education and infrastructure, most importantly, over $1.2 billion into critical upgrades for the M1 and the Mount Lindesay Highway. Not to mention millions of dollars for community groups, sporting clubs, CCTV cameras and projects to ensure adequate infrastructure and services for a rapidly growing area.”

Labor candidate for Forde Des Hardman is a senior radiographer and MRI team leader at Logan Hospital who contested the seat in 2016 and narrowly lost.

Mr Hardman told the Jimboomba Times he was confident this time around.

“I’ve got a great team behind me, who are really positive about how things are going with the campaign,” he said.

“It looks great for us at this point in time.  I’m going to ride that wave and keep working, keep campaigning and keep lobbying the Shorten Labor team for better lives and better things in my community.” 

Opposition leader Bill Shorten visited Forde last month to announce a $33.4 million specialist urgent care centre to ease pressure on the overcrowded Logan Hospital.

Labor candidate for Forde Des Hardman with opposition leader Bill Shorten in January this year. Photo: Jacob Wilson

Labor candidate for Forde Des Hardman with opposition leader Bill Shorten in January this year. Photo: Jacob Wilson

Mr van Manen has been quick to attack controversial Labor policy, hosting a Franking Credit inquiry in the Forde electorate on January 31.

The inquiry targeted Labor’s dividend imputation policy which would see self-funded retirees with excess imputation credits lose tax refunds if implemented. 

Labor expects the policy would raise $5 billion per year.

Mr van Manen said over 3000 people would be affected by the policy in Forde.

Mr Hardman said a “scare campaign” had already started in the Forde electorate.

“There is a lot of misinformation going out about what these changes mean for people,” he said.

‘These changes are tough, it is something that is designed to be better for our economy and community overall.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think it will be the scare campaign that will work. I think it is the leadership on these issues and the leadership we have got in the Labor Party.”

The next federal election is expected to be called in May.

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