WATCH: Christensen takes on rivals

 

VOTERS in the north Queensland seat of Dawson have been sent fake postcards from the Philippines.

But the missives, distributed by Labor to attack MP ­George Christensen over his extensive personal travel to the country, appear not to be cutting through with recipients.

Operatives from both sides of politics have told The Courier-Mail they believe the Mackay-based MP's extensive travels have not yet dissuaded enough of his constituents to turn against him and turf him out on May 18.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, however, appears to be avoiding being seen with his controversial backbencher.

Mr Morrison has not made a formal campaign visit to the marginal seat since the election was called, despite visiting neighbouring seats last week.

And he has not stood alongside Mr Christensen since March 1, when the pair both attended a northwest Queensland flood recovery announcement along with other affected MPs.

Mr Christensen has been dubbed the "Member for Manila" after he spent nearly 300 days in the Philippines over four years - well above his four-week annual leave entitlement.

The MP has defended his travel to the South-East Asian nation, where his fiancee lives, and has argued he was frequently in contact with his office while abroad.

Both sides of politics claim Mr Christensen's travels appear to have been accepted, or at least overshadowed by other issues such as the Adani mine, in the minds of his constituents.

The outspoken MP has built a loyal following based on his maverick image as someone who was willing to cross the floor during the Turnbull government.

Labor Senator Murray Watt, who has been attacking Mr Christensen over his travels, said Mr Morrison was "missing" from the electorate.

"Why is Scott Morrison avoiding George Christensen through the election campaign?" Senator Watt said.

"Is he embarrassed to be seen with the Member for Manila?

"Or is he worried George will actually be in the Philippines when he arrives?"