Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has won a third term in office, declaring victory for her party and entering the history books as a Labor legend after being rewarded by voters for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Labor leader is on track to form a majority government, with the ABC’s election computer predicting the ALP to win as many as 52 seats and the LNP to secure 34.
Bizarrely, seemingly due to a communication error, both leaders ended up making speeches at the same time last night.
Entering the function, Ms Palaszczuk was surrounded by family, including her father Henry who held the seat of Inala before her.
During the almost month-long campaign, she campaigned strongly on her Government’s handling of the pandemic and in her speech she acknowledged the toll the COVID-19 crisis has had on the state.
“We stood strong, Queensland,” she said.
“We stared down critics and we have come out of it all the better for it.”
Deb Frecklington — who led the LNP to the polls for the first time — vowed to continue as “leader of this great party,” saying they would keep on holding the Palaszczuk Government to account.
This will be Labor’s first four-year fixed term in power.
It means Ms Palaszczuk will be the longest-serving Australian female head of government by mid-2021 and the longest-serving Labor premier in the state since World War II by mid-2024.
But she has already made history by becoming the first woman to win three elections in Australian history.
Senator Anthony Chisholm credited Ms Palaszczuk with bringing Labor “back from the dead” after the party’s spectacular 2012 election loss.
“If she serves a full term [she] will overtake Wayne Goss and Peter Beattie, who are Labor heroes,” he said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is now on that same pedestal.”
Half a dozen seats still in doubt
With more than 60 per cent of the vote counted, Labor has been delivered a swing of 5 per cent.
But a high-profile casualty was former deputy premier Jackie Trad’s electorate of South Brisbane, which the Greens picked up — taking two seats in Queensland’s Parliament.
The swag of seats the LNP looks set to retain includes Mudgeeraba, Nanango and Warrego.
With 63 per cent of the vote counted on Saturday night, there were still at least half a dozen seats in doubt.
These included Currumbin, Glass House, Hervey Bay, Burleigh and Bundaberg.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Labor has achieved “great results” in Townsville.
“Looks like we’ve not just held them, but substantial swings to us in the three Townsville seats and in Barron River so they’re great results,” he said.
Mr Chisholm labelled the LNP’s controversial youth curfew policy a “dog whistle” and said it “backfired”.
“The absolutely cynical and outrageous effort of the LNP to announce a curfew in Cairns and Townsville came up for naught and they should absolutely hang their heads in shame, it was a disgraceful policy,” he said.
“It is good that the people of Townsville and Cairns have seen through it, they saw it for what it was and they’ve rejected it.”
Meanwhile, One Nation suffered a negative swing.
While sitting member for Mirani Stephen Andrew was re-elected, there was a 6.8 per cent swing against the party.
Despite outspending all the other parties on paid social media advertising, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party failed to pick up any seats — attracting just 11,853 votes as of last night.