National

Dutton battles to hold Qld seat of Dickson

By AAP Newswire

Liberal heavyweight Peter Dutton is in the fight of his political life to hold on to the marginal Queensland seat of Dickson in Brisbane's north.

Grass-roots campaigning by left-wing lobby group GetUp and a suite of candidates in the mortgage-belt electorate is putting pressure on Mr Dutton, who holds the seat on a mere 1.69 per cent margin.

The former wannabe-prime minister's pitch to voters got off to a rocky start when he made a pointed remark about Labor candidate Ali France.

Mr Dutton claimed Ms France was using her disability as an "excuse" not to move into the electorate before a Twitter-storm rained down on him.

A red-faced apology followed before Mr Dutton - like most Morrison ministers - largely disappeared from the national campaign trail.

The Home Affairs minister has since focused his attention on Dickson voters in a bid to save the seat he's held since 2001, and his parliamentary career.

He skipped the official ballot draw, and in the final days of the campaign re-launched the coalition's immigration policy in Townsville - more than 1000 km from his seat.

Mr Dutton's personal style and his leadership of the coup that deposed former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are seen to be on the nose with many voters nationally.

He's also a reminder of the LNP's tough border protection rhetoric that earlier in the year claimed the medevac bill would result in the arrival of boats carrying paedophiles, rapists and murderers.

Labor has a strong candidate in Ms France, a former journalist. But she's been plagued by claims she's a puppet of the left-wing activist group, GetUp.

She'll require a strong showing from the Greens' Benedict Coyne if she's to win Dickson.