Campbell Newman’s reign in Queensland is over. But not quite. The former Brisbane mayor became leader of the Liberal-National Party before he was even elected to parliament, where he survived just one term before being ousted from the seat of Ashgrove at the January 31 election.
But for now, he’s still running Queensland, albeit as caretaker premier.
It leaves the Sunshine State in the weird position of having an unelected premier in charge, while the LNP goverment has a new leader in Lawrence Springborg.
The election result is due to be declared tonight when the wait for postal votes finally ends. At this point, the ALP has 44 of the 45 seats required to form government, plus the support of independent Peter Wellington. The LNP has 42, with two Katter Party MPs backing them.
But the result is still uncertain because the Queensland Electoral Commission is referring one seat Labor won narrowly, Ferny Grove, to the Court of Disputed Returns, because the Palmer United candidate was an undischarged bankrupt and therefore ineligible to stand. He scored around 1000 votes and the ALP looks set to take the seat by 750 votes.
That may result in a by-election.
So Campbell Newman may be around for some time yet.
Here’s the statement he just issued:
This morning I tended my resignation as Premier of Queensland to his Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, pending the appointment of a new Premier.
In accordance with my constitutional duty, I have agreed it is my obligation to remain in Office as caretaker Premier until that time.
It is a duty I take very seriously and one I will continue to undertake to the best of my ability.
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