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Queensland election stalemate could last until next week

By Mark Beale

THE state’s electoral commission is warning Queenslanders not to hold their breath for an election result anytime soon, as it may take another week for hotly-contested seats to be finally declared.

Electoral Commission Queensland principal elections officer Carrick Brough said there were still thousands of votes to be counted, including absentee votes and postal votes.

The deadline for postal votes is Tuesday. Mr Brough said postal votes would need to be counted in seats where the race is down to the wire between candidates.

“We don’t know how many (postal votes) may come back to us,” Mr Brough said.

“There are seats where you’ve got 100 votes between candidates and theoretically have 300 votes that may or may not be coming back.”

He said it was “guesswork” to try to form any conclusions at this point.

Mr Brough also said the pressure was on because declaring which party won a particular seat could ultimately affect who ran government, given the race is so tight.

For most of Tuesday it was predicted that Labor would win 44 seats with the LNP securing 42.

They need 45 seats to be able to govern in their own right but if this does not occur, the power will be given to two elected Katter MPs – Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth – and independent Peter Wellington to negotiate with the major parties and try to form a government.

Late yesterday six seats were still in doubt; the same seats that were in doubt Monday night.

These included Ferny Grove and Maryborough, where Labor was ahead and Lockyer, Mt Ommaney and Whitsunday, where the LNP was ahead.

The seat of Lockyer has been closely watched as One Nation Party candidate Pauline Hanson jumped ahead of LNP’s Ian Rickuss on Monday afternoon after preferences.

But this changed by late Tuesday as Mr Rickuss took over 50.3% of the vote after preferences, sitting only 122 votes in front of Ms Hanson.

But, as Mr Brough said, the numbers were constantly changing.

Both the LNP and Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk kept away from the spotlight yesterday as they awaited the results of the count.

South Brisbane Labor MP Jackie Trad spoke briefly to media and said the party was “extremely hopeful” it would get the needed majority.

“We wait, like the rest of Queenslanders, hanging on every count,” Ms Trad said.

She also ruled out making any deals with Ms Hanson.

“Obviously Pauline Hanson is a figure that brings a lot of controversy with her but the Labor Party will be doing no deals with Pauline Hanson,” she said.

As the counting continues, Mr Brough said safely-declared seats were those where it was mathematically impossible for another candidate to win.

“(Seats) we’re looking to declare over the next couple of days are ones where in the primary votes a candidate has already achieved 50% plus one vote… because it is mathematically impossible for someone to get more than them,” he said.


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