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.