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Queensland finally has a government, but the path ahead for both major parties looks rocky

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, writes in The Conversation (8.12.17) about the outcome of Queensland's state election, suggesting that voters may need to accustom themselves to a new norm of tight, drawn-out contests, where party leaders’ election night speeches might be obsolete.

'After going to the polls on November 25, Queenslanders finally have a state election result as Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls conceded defeat on Friday.

'Following a four-week campaign, votes were counted for almost a fortnight until Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Party was confirmed the victor. Palaszczuk is the first female premier to win back-to-back elections. In 2015, she’d become the first woman at state or federal level to lead her party to government from opposition.

'But it’s not the clear-cut result Palaszczuk desired. Labor appears to have won 48 seats in the 93-member parliament to the LNP’s 39. This leaves Palaszczuk’s returned government with a slim majority and a diverse crossbench.

'With a record field of candidates in an expanded number of electorates – many with redrawn boundaries – this shaped as a complicated election. Adding to its unpredictability was the reintroduction after 25 years of compulsory preferential voting.

'While two-party-preferred swings were generally not as large as at the last two state elections, overall figures showed a fragmented statewide vote. More than 30% gave their first preferences to minor parties and independents. This exceeded the One Nation-driven protest vote in 1998.

'... The road ahead for both major parties will be anything but easy.'

Queensland voters deliver Labor a majority government

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, gives his observations on this year's Queensland election result and the performance of the two major parties during the state campaign.

 

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