Labor to retain government in Queensland

Marty Silk and Paul Osborne
·3-min read

Annastacia Palaszczuk has claimed victory for Labor in the Queensland state election, becoming the first woman in the nation's political history to win three elections.

As vote counting continues, Ms Palaszczuk told supporters in her electorate she was confident of governing in majority.

"For many Queenslanders, I know it has been an incredibly tough year," she said.

"It has been tough not being able to see your family and friends in other states, or even around the world, as we've been in the midst of a global pandemic.

"But here in Queensland we've all stood strong and united, and together we are on top of the pandemic, and if we continue to work together, we will stay strong."

On Saturday night, Labor was on track to hold as many as 49 seats - up one on its previous numbers.

The Liberal National Party appeared to have lost a net two seats, taking its numbers to 36 in the 93-seat chamber.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington said she would continue in her role, despite the loss.

"We're in the middle of an economic crisis and it is far from over," she said.

"So for Queensland's sake, I urge the premier to taking action to grow our economy and to create jobs in this state."

Katter's Australian Party was expected to hold three seats, with the Greens also on track to hold at least two and possibly three seats.

One Nation's Stephen Andrew and independent Sandy Bolton make up the final numbers.

The biggest victim of the night was former deputy premier Jackie Trad, who lost her seat of South Brisbane to the Greens' Amy MacMahon.

LNP deputy leader Tim Mander said the result was "incredibly disappointing", citing the inability for opposition parties to get any political oxygen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It means the pandemic has had a major impact on another opposition as it has in other jurisdictions around the country and overseas," he told the ABC.

The pandemic was also a key factor in this year's ACT and Northern Territory election wins for Labor.

Labor's primary vote of 39.5 per cent was based on a swing of 5.4 per cent.

The LNP secured 35.3 per cent of the primary vote, with half of the vote counted on Saturday night.

Significant traction was lost by One Nation, whose vote fell 6.7 per cent.

The swing was not consistent across the state, with Labor doing better in the southeast corner and the LNP performing better in regional areas.

Gold Coast based federal minister Karen Andrews put the swing in the southeast to Labor down to older voters who "probably feel safe with the borders closed" endorsing Ms Palaszczuk's strategy in dealing with the coronavirus.

"What we have been saying is that this is a crisis on two levels, health and economy, but clearly in some cases health was the most significant for people," she told the ABC.

Labor national president Wayne Swan said Ms Palaszczuk had earned an "enduring respect" for her approach to the pandemic.

Former LNP premier Campbell Newman said his party's stocks were already low before the pandemic.

"Spare me the COVID-19 excuse for what's happening tonight in Queensland," he tweeted.

"The LNP primary vote was 36 per cent a year ago -we had a problem prior to the pandemic."