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Labor gets four more years, but three seats still too close to call

Decision 2020

As public attention turns to the US election, counting continues in the Queensland poll and may not be finalised for another week.

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The closest contest this morning was in Bundaberg, where the incumbent, Liberal National Party member David Batt, led Labor candidate Tom Smith by only four votes. That is according to the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s unofficial indicative count, which will change with a more comprehensive count and the receipt of postal votes. Smith was ahead on primary votes alone, and there is still a chance that the notional preference distribution could swing the result again – particularly with such a close contest.

In Nicklin, the Sunshine Coast hinterland seat long represented by an independent, the LNP’s Marty Hunt was still at risk of losing the seat he only won for the party in 2017. Labor’s Robert Skelton was 30 votes ahead on the unofficial indicative count, despite Hunt being in the lead on primary votes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today said Bundaberg was “too close to call” and Nicklin was also “really close”.

“We’re really encouraged by what’s happening on the ground so fingers crossed,” Palaszczuk said of the Nicklin race.

Earlier this year, the seat of Currumbin had a by-election, won by the LNP’s Laura Gerber, and the seat remained a key focus for the major parties during the state campaign. This morning, Gerber was 302 votes ahead of Labor rival Kaylee Campradt, who on Monday told supporters “it’s not over yet – and it will be incredibly close”.

The deadline for the return of postal votes is November 10, meaning it could still be a week a week or so before the election can be finalised.

The results in those electorates will not change the overall outcome, but will be important to the major parties in the coming weeks. Labor still has to finalise its factional split, for a Cabinet reshuffle to be decided by triumphant leader Palaszczuk, while the diminished LNP opposition will have to vote on a new leader and deputy leader.

While the outcome in those three seats remains unclear, the 93-seat parliament will already have 50 Labor members, 33 LNP members, and a cross-bench of seven. MPs will also serve a fixed four year term for the first time.

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