'No guarantee' of Ferny Grove by-election

Alexandra Patrikios

A legal expert says there is no guarantee the disqualification of a Ferny Grove candidate will give the Liberal National Party a second shot at the Queensland seat.

The outcome in the Brisbane electorate was thrown into doubt after it was revealed the Palmer United Party candidate, Mark Taverner, was an undisclosed bankrupt.

"The fact that one of the candidates wasn't qualified is not grounds in and of itself to result in a by-election," Peter Black, of the Queensland University of Technology, told AAP.

Rather, such "procedural irregularities" would result in a count being declared void only if it could be established they were likely to have affected the outcome of the election.

In Ferny Grove, this would hinge on the preference flows and how many people voted for a single candidate instead of numbering every box.

As of Tuesday, Mr Taverner had 993 votes, more than double the margin separating Labor victor Mark Furner and the LNP's Dale Shuttleworth on a two-party preferred count.

Mr Black said it could be as late as June before the Court of Disputed Returns delivered its decision.

In the second week after Queenslanders went to the polls, Labor looks poised to claim victory with 44 seats and the support of independent Peter Wellington.

Until then, Campbell Newman is caretaker premier after announcing his resignation on Tuesday.

Mr Black said he had heard "mutterings" the LNP might seek permission from the governor to stay in caretaker capacity until the Ferny Grove situation was resolved.

But a caretaker government would be against the interests of the state, and be unable to change policies or make laws or executive appointments, he said.

"With my legal and constitutional hat on, that just seems to be plainly wrong," the senior law lecturer said.

Mr Black predicted the governor was more likely to commission Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Labor party, or recall parliament so the ALP could take power through a no-confidence motion against the LNP.