Barnaby Joyce directs New England preferences to One Nation candidate living in Brisbane | Australian election 2022

The One Nation candidate preferenced by the deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, in his regional New South Wales citizens is a salesman from inner-city Brisbane.

Joyce has directed preferences in his ultra-safe New England seat to One Nation, telling a candidate’s discussion board on Monday evening that the far-right social gathering had modified.

“The party of 10, 15 years ago is not the party of today,” he mentioned on the discussion board.

“Things change. Mollify.”

Almost nothing is thought about One Nation’s candidate within the seat, Richard Thomas.

He didn’t reply to the invitation to attend the candidate discussion board and didn’t present a picture for its promotional materials. He can also be not listed as a candidate on the social gathering’s web site.

Held within the regional NSW city of Tamworth, the discussion board would have been fairly a drive for Thomas.

The Guardian has confirmed that he lives in West End, a classy inner-city suburb on the Brisbane River, which is about seven hours’ drive away from the citizens from New England.

A spokesperson for One Nation mentioned that Thomas lived in Queensland, however was unable to offer any biographical particulars, apart from that he labored in “sales”.

There is not any requirement for candidates to dwell within the division that they’re contesting.

The Guardian had beforehand revealed One Nation has a collection of candidates within the federal election who dwell 1000’s of kilometres from the seats they’re operating in.

After it dedicated to operating candidates in all 151 electorates earlier than the election, the social gathering was nonetheless scrambling to seek out candidates simply hours earlier than nominations closed final month.

It informed one potential candidate to depart the citizens he was operating in “blank” on his type, saying the social gathering didn’t “require you to do anything or campaign at all”. The social gathering’s candidates embrace a husband and spouse operating in separate seats in NSW and Victoria, and a resident of regional Queensland operating within the inner-west Sydney seat of Grayndler.

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The social gathering’s candidate within the north Queensland seat of Herbert lives in suburban Melbourne.

During Monday evening’s discussion board, Joyce declined to say whether or not he had spoken to Thomas earlier than directing his preferences to the candidate.

He defined the choice to desire One Nation by saying: “If I see … those decisions about a party’s platform are less likely to cause damage to my nation, then they are further up [the preferences].”

The Guardian has tried to contact Joyce.

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