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An extraordinary vote in Queensland

Tim Colebatch writes in Inside Story (26.11.17) about the uncertain outcome of Queensland’s state election, suggesting that historically low support for the major parties has contributed to a result that remains too close to call.

‘As Saturday dawned, the Queensland election seemed on a knife-edge. As midnight came, the knife-edge remained sharp, and pointing upwards. The votes had been counted and some possibilities had been ruled out — but three others remained.

‘The most likely outcome is a repeat of the last three years. Labor will form another minority government, this time with more crossbenchers, and with fewer Liberal National Party MPs on the opposition benches. But that is no certainty.

‘At the end of counting, on my bottom line, nineteen of the ninety-three seats were too close to call — that’s one in five. Other observers were a shade bolder: Ben Raue in the Guardian had thirteen seats in doubt; the ABC’s Antony Green had fifteen. I’ve never seen an election like this.

‘… Even my take might prove too bold. Among the seventy-four seats that I marked down for one side or other — Labor forty, LNP thirty-two, and Katter’s Australian Party two — there are fourteen for which either we have no figures for the two-party preferred vote, or those we have could be overturned as a third party fights its way into the final two. They also include three seats in which the LNP’s lead at the close of counting was just 1 to 1.5 per cent. One in every three seats is in some measure of doubt. That is extraordinary.’

Queensland voters on edge of their seats as Labor nears majority, One Nation flops

Felicity Caldwell reports in the Brisbane Times (25.11.17) that the fate of Queensland’s next Parliament still awaits resolution, but One Nation’s predicted storm on George Street did not eventuate.

‘The fate of Queensland’s Parliament hangs in the balance, with the count in several seats too close to call.

‘After Queensland voters delivered a swing against the LNP and towards One Nation, Labor looked likely to hold power but had not yet secured the 47 seats needed to declare a majority by the time counting stopped on election night.

‘Predictions orange-shirted One Nation candidates would storm into Queensland Parliament proved misguided, with the minor party yet to clearly win a single seat.

‘The final count would not be known for days, with booth workers wrapping up the count about 10.30pm on Saturday.

‘Counting would continue on Sunday, preferences in many seats would be counted from Monday, and more than 360,000 postal votes would need to be tallied.’

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