LNP candidate Bob Andersen.

LNP candidate Bob Andersen. Photo: Supplied

It’s been the question which sent Queensland political Twitter devotees bobbing for answers.

When is a Bob really a Jared? And why?

The LNP candidate for Stafford, Jared “I go by Bob as a preferred name” Andersen insists there is no conspiracy. Bob might be your uncle, but it’s also the nickname he adorned in adulthood and never let go.

The Queensland Health psychologist has been the subject of a flurry of social media activity since his candidacy was announced on Friday – mostly about why ‘Bob Andersen’ didn’t appear to be Bob Andersen anywhere else – like the internet.

Speaking to Fairfax Radio 4BC Afternoons Mr Andersen said there was no mystery.

“[Jared] is the name my parents gave me, I went by it until I was 18, but at uni my mate’s nicknamed me Bob and it really stuck like glue,” he said.

“Within a couple of years, nobody really knew me as Jared and I’ve been Bob personally and professionally ever since.

“When it came to run for parliament, I just didn’t see how it would be viable to run as anything other than Bob, that is what everyone knows me as.”

Mr Andersen is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency under his birth name, which helped stir the controversy and convinced the internet bobbies they were on to something, but Mr Andersen said that too was easily explained. 

“Obviously when you do something like a licence or something formal like that, you need to do it with your real name, but when I did that with the board, I also sent them an email that I go by Bob as a preferred name, so that they would know the situation,” he said.

Under the previous Twitter handle @Bob_Andersen, was known to Labor government staffers as a “staunch LNP defender” who was not shy about letting former premier Anna Bligh know his thoughts.

That account was deleted shortly before Mr Andersen’s candidacy was announced, and another, @Bob4Stafford, was created, made private and then deleted.  That also raised the hackles of some in the social media community, who adding their own two Bob to the situation, accused Mr Andersen of running troll accounts, particularly ‘Joe Qlder’.

“I do not, and never have, operated a fake Twitter account,” Mr Andersen said in a political denial for the ages.

“People do use anonymous accounts on both sides of politics but it is not something I do or approve of, for that matter, and I think it is strange that this keeps getting brought up when the people who are accusing me of doing it, it is exactly what they are doing. 

“They are operating from fake and anonymous twitter accounts and really trying to beat up trouble and distract us from the key issues of this by-election.

“I have never operated a fake Twitter account or an anonymous Twitter account, ever.”

He said he deleted his own account because “behaviour on Twitter has deteriorated over the years” and would avoid the platform as he found it to be “too much an echo chamber for people who are angry and looking to be abusive and I didn’t find you could have any rational debate about the issue on there”.

He is on Facebook though.  As Bob Andersen.

Stafford is not Mr Andersen’s first foray into politics – he has been active with his branch of the LNP for years and had registered his pre-selection interest in 2008.  But he said he was a bob short of understanding the focus on his name.

“I have been going by this name for 15 years,” he said, adding it was “something I have never had a problem with up until this point.

“It is the name everybody knows me and uses, my brother uses this name when he is talking to me – I just think it would be very strange to suddenly stop using it.”

A LNP executive spokesman said Mr Andersen was bob-on the right candidate to retain Stafford for the party in the by-election sparked by Chris Davis’s resignation last month.

“The party has absolute faith in Bob Andersen,” he said.

“He will make a terrific representative for the community in Stafford."

The LNP won Stafford at the 2012 state election with a 7.1 per cent margin. Anthony Lynham, who sometimes is called Tony, will run for Labor in the by-election which has been set down for July 19.