With 70% of enrolled voters counted in yesterday’s Queensland election, the ABC is calling 43 of the 93 seats for Labor, 34 for the LNP and two for Katter’s Australian Party (KAP). Fourteen seats have not yet been called, and Labor needs four of these seats to win a majority (47 seats).
The LNP is well ahead in three of the seats the ABC currently has as doubtful (Glass House, Theodore and Whitsunday). As postals favour the LNP, these are very likely to be won by them. In Bonney, Labor currently leads by ten votes, but 3,000 votes have had a primary count but not yet a two-candidate count. When included, the LNP will lead, and will probably win.
In Cook, Labor has 39% of the primary vote, with One Nation, the LNP and KAP clustered just below 19%. Labor is likely to defeat whoever is second. In Macalister, Labor is thumping the LNP 60-40, but an independent could beat the LNP into third and benefit from their preferences. However, independents generally do badly on postals, and Labor should win.
In Thuringowa, Labor leads One Nation 56-44, but primary votes are 32% Labor, 21% LNP, 20% One Nation and 16% Katter Party. One Nation could move ahead of the LNP on Katter preferences, but we have no Labor vs LNP count. Based on other results, Labor should win even if the LNP is second.
In Burdekin, Maiwar, Mirani, Hinchinbrook, Noosa and Rockhampton, the ABC’s preference counts are guesses as the wrong candidates were selected on election night, and the electoral commission will need to re-do the preference count.
In Maiwar, Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson appears to have been defeated by the Greens. In Rockhampton, local mayor Margaret Strelow, who was backed as the Labor candidate by Palaszczuk but lost preselection, is likely to defeat the endorsed Labor candidate as an independent.
Mirani is likely to be the only One Nation win, gained from Labor on LNP preferences. Noosa has been gained from the LNP by an independent. KAP is well-placed to win Hinchinbrook from the LNP from third place on Labor then One Nation preferences. In Burdekin, Labor leads the LNP on primary votes, but the seat will be decided on One Nation preferences. One Nation put Labor ahead of the LNP on its how-to-vote card here.
If Gaven, Cook, Macalister and Thuringowa all go to Labor, and Labor holds the 43 seats the ABC is currently calling for it, Labor will win 47 seats, a bare majority. With Rockhampton and Maiwar likely to go to left-wing candidates, the result should be a clear left majority.
The most likely final seat outcome is Labor 47 of 93 seats, LNP 39, KAP three, independents two, Greens one and One Nation one. The pre-election pendulum gave Labor 48 seats and the LNP 43 after assigning defectors to the party that would win the seat in 2015. So, if the seat result above occurs, Labor has lost one seat and the LNP four.
Statewide primary votes are currently 36.0% Labor (down 1.4% since 2015), 33.0% LNP (down 8.3%), 13.9% One Nation (up 13%) and 9.9% Greens (up 1.5%). Labor will probably decline slightly on additional votes, with the LNP and Greens slightly up. On current figures, Newspoll was the most accurate poll.
Comparing seat numbers with primary votes highlights the disproportional nature of single-member systems. KAP contested only ten seats, and appear to have won three on just 2.1% of the vote. With far higher vote shares, the Greens and One Nation each appear to have won just one seat.
Kevin Bonham says Labor performed slightly worse in seat terms than expected given the statewide primary votes because southeast Queensland swings were uneven, and often occurred in seats Labor already held.
In seats the ABC has called as changing hands, Labor has gained Aspley and Redlands from the LNP, but lost Bundaberg. Labor gained Cairns from a defector, and the LNP gained Buderim from LNP defector Steve Dickson, who was One Nation’s state leader.
While Labor has probably won, this was an underwhelming performance, given it was a first-term government and the unpopularity of the federal Coalition. I think the defection of Cook MP Billy Gordon early in the last term damaged Labor, as it still needed his vote.
As I have argued before, Labor’s attempt to play both sides of the Adani issue was not good political strategy, and they would probably have performed better had they rejected Adani early in the last term. Rejecting the Commonwealth’s A$1 billion loan to Adani just three weeks before the election would have been perceived by many as a cynical move.