Frecklington resigns as Qld LNP leader

Marty Silk
·3-min read

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington has resigned after the party's heavy defeat in the Queensland state election.

The opposition is set to lose up to four seats with Labor on track to hold 52 seats as counting continues on Monday after Saturday's poll.

Ms Frecklington declared in her concession speech that she would remain as LNP leader, but has since changed her mind.

She says as soon as the election results are declared she will call a party-room vote for a new leader.

"I will not be a candidate in the leadership contest. Whoever the new leader of the LNP is will have my full support, and my full loyalty," Ms Frecklington told reporters on Monday.

"I will assist them in any way possible to help this party move forward. (It) has been the greatest privilege of my life so far to be the leader of the Liberal National Party."

She said 2020 had been a difficult year for the opposition, which had been in a strong position before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There is no doubt that COVID has had a huge impact on Queensland politics, just as COVID has had an impact on politics and other elections in both Australia and New Zealand," the LNP leader said.

She apologised for the party's loss and thanked the LNP's candidates and volunteers for their hard work.

"I am sorry that despite all of that support that we have had we were unable to win this election. I am the leader, and I do take responsibility for the election loss," Ms Frecklington said.

She is the third LNP leader to have failed to beat Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the ballot box, after Campbell Newman in 2015 and Tim Nicholls in 2017.

It is understood that Broadwater MP and opposition tourism spokesman David Crisafulli is the leading candidate to take the reins.

Deputy Leader Tim Mander and shadow attorney-general David Janetzkimay may also put up their hands for the leadership ballot.

Ms Frecklington faced a powerful Labor adversary at the polls, but was also the target of damaging leaks from her own party during the election campaign.

"Look the internal distractions haven't been helpful but that's for the future," she said.

The LNP posted a three-line thank you message to Ms Frecklington for leading the party.

"Deb will continue to serve as the Member for Nanango and a strong advocate for Queensland," the LNP wrote on its Facebook page.

"Thank you Deb for everything you've done for the LNP and the people of Queensland."

Meanwhile, Ms Palaszczuk, Treasurer Cameron Dick and Deputy Premier Steven Miles are meeting with departmental directors-general to work on delivering state budget before Christmas.

Labor didn't deliver a budget because the federal budget, which includes crucial GST forecasts, wasn't delivered until October 6 when the state government was already in caretaker mode ahead of the election.

The budget is likely to be handed down on December 8, the week after the new parliament is sworn in.