Labor stuns LNP with massive swing
Annastacia Palaszczuk is on track to win a historic third term as early results suggest Labor would hold on in the regions and steal precious seats from the LNP in the southeast.
But her former deputy premier Jackie Trad has been swept out of parliament by a Greens surge in South Brisbane, pushed on by LNP preferences flowing to the minor party.
Labor has the best of the early returns, recording swings towards them in some of their key targets of Currumbin and Burleigh on the Gold Coast, Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and Pumicestone and Hervey Bay, north of Brisbane.
Across the state Labor has picked up a 4.9 per cent swing.
They are also defending well in some of their more vulnerable electorates of Barron River, in Cairns, Mundingburra in Townsville and Mansfield and Aspley in Brisbane.
Two more marginal seats in Townsville - Thurungowa and Townsville - were still on a knife's edge.
And the LNP is recording swings across the southeast corner that could end Deb Frecklington's leadership of the conservative party.
But the adding of postal votes counts are swinging results, including in McConnell where the addition of a few thousand postal votes swung the Greens candidate from first place to third, with the LNP sliding into first.
In that scenario, Greens preferences would push defending Labor MP and Education Minister Grace Grace to first place and back into parliament.
LNP sources suggested similar swings would happen in other seats with the additional of postal votes, including Clayfield where former leader Tim Nicholls appeared in trouble early on.
The Greens have retained Maiwar, held by Michael Berkman as they prepare to welcome South Brisbane's Amy MacMahon to their team.
They were also hopeful in Cooper, where early counts had Green Katinka Winston-Allom ahead of the ALP's Jonty Bush, who is contesting the seat being vacated by Tourism Minister Kate Jones.
But by 8pm, Ms Winston-Allom had dropped back to third place.
2020 QLD state election results
- LNP 0
- ALP 0
- ONP 0
- UAP 0
- KAP 0
- OTH 0
- GRN 0
As the One Nation vote collapsed across the state, the minor party has retained its central Queensland seat of Mirani.
But Katter's Australian Party could pick up a third seat from Labor in Cook, north of Cairns, being contested by star candidate and former nurse Tanika Parker.
Party faithful at Labor's camp seemed quietly confident as votes indicated Labor was set for a majority as attendees began arriving at the The Blue Fin Fishing Club in Inala, for their election after-party.
The LNP party at the Emporium Hotel is very low key, with very few attendees due to coronavirus restrictions.
But attendees, including Ms Frecklington's children, still appeared hopeful at 8pm.
The surprise results came after Ms Palaszczuk spent the day visiting polling booths across Brisbane while LNP Leader Deb Frecklington launched a last-minute blitz for marginal Townsville seats, even voting in the north Queensland city.
The Premier visited Aspley, held by Labor by 1.17 per cent, before voting in her own safe seat of Inala where she was confronted by a heckler who shouted about job losses and border closures.
Ms Palaszczuk fired back, saying that was "exactly what the LNP want".
As the pair walked away, her friend and Labor Oxley MP Milton Dick shouted: "That's what the LNP are campaigning on today."
The heckler shouted back to Mr Dick: "Don't bully me, bully boy!"
But Ms Frecklington defied tradition of casting her vote in her own electorate of Nanango and instead voted in the seat of Mundingburra - one of three Townsville seats Labor worried they could lose.
It follows a COVID-flavoured campaign trail in which Ms Palaszczuk pleaded for Queenslanders to choose "stability" over the "chaos and unproven" LNP led by Ms Frecklington who had previously called for borders to open before the Victorian second wave.
Labor had also launched a "Mediscare-type" scare campaign in which they accused the LNP of secretly plotting to sack 30,000 public servants to pay for their election promises.
Treasurer Cameron Dick announced Labor's election promises would be paid for through $4 billion in borrowing.
But his costings also revealed more than $1 billion dollars worth of savings will have to be made from Queensland Health for Labor to afford its signature health policy to hire an extra 9000 doctors, nurses and health staff.
Ms Frecklington led a more positive campaign in which she spoke of her "bold, ambitious" plan for Queensland to turn it back into an economic powerhouse through projects like the New Bradfield Scheme and four-laning the Bruce Highway.
But her would-be treasurer Tim Mander's costings only allocated $20 million in funds for the visionary project as he announced an LNP government would strip $750m from the public service - with Queensland Health immune - and extend a non-frontline public servant hiring freeze by six-months.
And he admitted he would borrow $1.7 billion of the money Labor was planning to borrow, even after labelling Labor's borrowings a "debt-funded election slush fund".
She seized on Queensland high unemployment rate - chronically high since the Palaszczuk Government's 2015 election and currently the highest in the country, even behind Victoria and nominated a 5 per cent unemployment rate to work towards in power in the COVID recovery.
Ms Palaszczuk refused to nominate a jobs goal for herself.
Originally published as Labor stuns LNP with massive swing