The ALP is set to form a minority government in Queensland with 44 seats thanks to the support of independent minister Peter Wellington.
Following a tight contest between Labor and the LNP since the state’s election last week, the ALP could have a win in their sights with the seat of Maryborough likely to swing their way.
The Labor candidate for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders has said he was “quietly confident” his electorate would become Labor’s 44th seat. 92% of the Maryborough ballots have been counted so far, with 1.9% swing placing the ALP around 750 votes in front of the LNP.
It may take until Tuesday, the cut-off for postal votes, before the seat is decided, but the primary vote count is expected to conclude today, and preferences from the third-placed candidate, independent Chris Foley, who has 21.3% of the primary vote will be redistributed.
This follows Lawrence Springborg’s appointment yesterday as leader of Queensland’s Liberal-National Party, replacing ousted premier Campbell Newman, with John-Paul Langbroek as deputy.
Springborg, who lost elections as Opposition leader in 2004, 2006 and 2009, had hoped Wellington may change his mind about supporting Labor, after gaining the support of Katter’s Australian Party MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth.
For now Springborg is leader of the caretaker government awaiting the outcome of an election the LNP was never expected to lose.
In his first press conference as leader, Springborg said the Queensland people can expect trust, competence and experience from the party.
“The result is still very unclear… it could go on for a under of days, it could be go on for a number of weeks… [But] whatever the outcomes may be… the one thing the LNP can continue to offer in Queensland is stability.
“If we’re given the privilege of a commission… then I can assure the people of Queensland that they will be able to have an experienced, competent government that can do the things that are important to them.
“We understand the people of Queensland were disappointed in certain aspects of our government… [But] we are going to be making sure that moving forward, whether it be hopefully in government or Opposition, that we can rebuild that faith and trust which the people of Queensland should expect of their elected representatives.
“This is about stability, it is about experience, it is about being able to prove you can run difficult portfolios in difficult times.”
With nearly 88% of the total vote counted, the ALP leads the LNP 43 seats to 39.