Queensland election results 2017: Result by the end of the week

Source: Jessica Marszalek, Stuart Layt, The Courier-Mail

December 5, 2017 5:53pm

CHILD safety advocate Hetty Johnston has conceded in the seat of Macalister, congratulating Labor candidate Melissa McMahon on her win.

But she says she will be back to try again next election.

“Hi folks … sorry to report that we have missed out,” she tweeted. “Congrats to Labor who have won.

“Thank you to everybody who has helped in this campaign and rest assured I’ll be back for another crack down the track. Lol.

“In the meantime I shall keep campaigning to protect our children and spend a bit more time at home to get ready for the next election.”

Thirty seats have now been declared in the Queensland election, with vote counters planning to pull an all-nighter in at least one seat in an effort to get a final result.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland had told AAP the count in the seat of Macalister was scheduled to continue into tonight.

“We’re very committed to bringing the results in as quickly as possible, especially in those tight seats,” a spokeswoman said.

“Macalister and Maiwar are probably two of the tightest seats in the state. We would expect to see preference distributions up on the ECQ website by 9 or 10 o’clock (Wednesday) morning.”

Labor already counts Macalister as part of its projected 47 seats which would give it a razor-thin majority in the new 93-seat parliament, however the vote there will come down to the wire, with preference flows potentially helping independent candidate Hetty Johnston.

Preferences will also play a key role in Maiwar, where the LNP’s Scott Emerson will be ousted by either Labor or the Greens, depending on who comes second in the race and therefore gets the bulk of the third-place-candidate’s preferences.

Hetty Johnston believes postal vote results won’t be enough for her to claim Macalister. Picture: Peter Wallis

Greens candidate Michael Berkman was leading Labor’s Ali King by 71 votes this afternoon.

Thirty seats have now been formally declared by the electoral commission of Queensland, the latest a batch of eight on Tuesday afternoon which included LNP leader Tim Nicholls’ seat of Clayfield, and KAP leader Rob Katter’s seat of Traeger.

KAP currently has one declared seat from a predicted three, while Labor has 17 on its way to a projected 47 and the LNP 12 ahead of a predicted 39.

Nearly 90 per cent of the statewide first-preference vote has now been counted, and the ECQ hopes to have a final result by the end of the week.

The count is expected to gather pace from tomorrow, with the 6pm Tuesday deadline for postal votes meaning there will be no more fresh influxes of votes in tight races.

Despite being on track for a predicted 47 seats, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been keeping a low profile as the count drags on. She has not made any public appearances since last Monday when she fronted the cameras during a meeting with the Local Government Association of Queensland, but did not take questions from reporters.

Meanwhile, Mr Nicholls — who has made multiple appearances since the November 25 poll — faces mounting speculation he will be ousted from the opposition’s top job, with sources saying he could face a spill this week depending on when the final result is known.

OVERNIGHT: Queensland should have a government declared by the week’s end, pundits predict. But scrutineers are still sweating on a handful of seats to determine the make-up of the next parliament.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland won’t start distributing preferences in the cliffhanger seats of Maiwar or Macalister until tomorrow. Postal votes close tonight at 6pm.

Labor is already counting Macalister on its win list and this would see it reach the 47 seats required for majority government.

But a late surge by child safety advocate and independent candidate Hetty Johnston unnerved some in the Labor Party, although Ms Johnston believed it wouldn’t be enough for her to win.

Labor was also hopeful it would keep Townsville (to get to 48 seats) where preferences are also yet to be distributed.

The extra seat would give the government a welcome margin and some breathing space in parliament in the case of defection or illness.

Preference flows yesterday shored up Hinchinbrook as Katter’s Australian Party’s third seat, but it was still too close to call Burdekin in which the LNP’s Dale Last was trying to fight off Labor’s Mike Brunker.

In Maiwar, the Greens were 51 votes ahead of Labor in a race for second place.

The party that takes second spot will leapfrog the LNP and take the seat from former opposition frontbencher Scott Emerson who has already conceded.

Labor and LNP insiders yesterday believed final counts would become clearer tomorrow, with a new Palaszczuk Cabinet potentially being sworn in on Friday.

The ECQ has so far declared 21 of 93 seats, including Rockhampton which it has given to Labor.

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