Queensland’s political future remains uncertain after the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) said it would refer the result in the Brisbane seat of Ferny Grove to the Court of Disputed Returns because the Palmer United Party Mark Taverner, was an undischarged bankrupt, and thus ineligible to stand.
The ALP won the seat, and looked set to form minority government with 44 seats plus the support of independent Peter Wellington.
The result is due to be declared tomorrow night, when the deadline for postal votes closes, and the ECQ will refer Ferny Grove to the court, who will decide whether a by-election is required.
Taverner managed 985 primary votes and the ALP’s Mark Furner leads the Liberal-National Party’s Dale Shuttleworth by just over 400 votes, 14,128 to 13,714 on a two-party preferred basis.
Queenslanders have now been waiting nine days to see who will lead their state and yesterday it looked like the ALP were set to take power, with Maryborough as its 44th seat.
In the meantime, the LNP has appointed Lawrence Springborg, who lost three elections while in opposition, as the party’s new leader to replace premier Campbell Newman, who lost his seat.
The LNP remains as caretaker government until the poll is declared and has the support of Katter’s Australian Party MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth. The LNP currently has 42 seats, leaving Wellington holding the balance of power and the possibility of a by-election in Ferny Grove, which may not happen for several months, also determining the outcome.
This afternoon ALP leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said outgoing premier Campbell Newman should “do the honourable thing and resign his commission”, saying she will ask the Queensland Governor for permission to form a minority government with Wellington.
“I am confident over the next few days Labor will be able to form government,”she said.
“What we’ve seen in the last 24 hours is an arrogant attempt by Lawrence Springborg to cling to power.”
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