After three years in state politics, Premier Campbell Newman has bowed out in the most spectacular fashion; by leading his party to a catastrophic loss of an estimated 37 seats to the Labor Party. Heading into Saturday’s election, Labor held only nine of the 89 parliamentary seats, with Bob Katter’s Australia Party holding two and independent Peter Wellington holding one. Both Katter’s Katter Australia Party (KAP) and Wellington retained their seats, leaving 86 up for grabs and with the LNP claiming only 40, Labor could well win the 45 seats needed for a majority government. This is the largest swing of any federal or state election in history.
Newman himself lost his seat of Ashgrove to his constituent predecessor, Kate Jones, and announced to LNP supporters that his “political career is over”, as he conceded defeat in his constituency.
The election was fought was fought and won by the Labor opposition on the asset sell off, with the majority of Queensland opposed to Newman’s plan to raise $37 billion via an asset leasing program, whilst the government was obsessed with “strength” promising a strong leadership, a strong Queensland, etc.
Both parties seemingly tried to sway voters right up until the last minute, with the LNP message being ‘Just Vote 1’, while Labor called for voters to “Remember To Number Every Square”. Causing confusion at the polling booth, the signage displayed by both parties drew several complaints to the Electoral Commission of Queensland.
State Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was confident that her party would win the seats required to give it a majority. “We are going to restore good government to this state … that works for all of Queensland; we will govern for all of you,” she said. “That is my commitment and the commitment of my entire Labor team. We are hopeful and optimistic, but it will be a couple of days until we know the final result.”
Mr Newman, who confirmed via Twitter that he had called Ms Palaszczuk to congratulate her party on its success, will stay on as caretaker until the election result is officially known.
Read more at ABC.net.au
Could the result of the Queensland election have been predicted? Will the state be better off without Mr Newman at the helm?