| 26.11,17. 05:36 AM |
Queensland election: Labor ahead but no clear result at end of poll night vote count
The result of the Queensland election remains in doubt, with neither Labor nor the Liberal National Party close to a majority by the end of counting on Saturday night.
Labor looks the more likely of the two major parties to form government, but ABC election analyst Antony Green said there was "a high probability" the ALP would not win the 47 seats needed for a majority.
Queensland Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk thanked supporters on Saturday night, saying she was confident of forming a government.
"Tonight, we are close to the peak but we are not quite there and we will not get there tonight," she said.
"But I remain confident we will be able to form a majority Labor government once all the votes are counted.
"And Queenslanders always win when we work together. I will always put Queenslanders first. One thing remains clear: I will never sell out the needs of Queenslanders by doing a deal with One Nation."
A short time after Ms Palaszczuk spoke, an upbeat LNP leader Tim Nicholls also thanked his supporters, saying up to 14 seats remained in doubt.
What is abundantly clear is tonight Queenslanders have voted to shake things up," he said.
"It is clear that the Premier has not won a majority in her own right.
"The real question for tonight is will Annastacia Palaszczuk keep her word?
"Will Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor keep their word that they will do no deals with the One Nation Party, no deals with Katter, no deals with Independents, no deals with minor parties?"
One Nation without a state leader
One Nation convert Steve Dickson lost his bid to win the Sunshine Coast seat of Buderim, leaving the party without a Queensland leader.
Mr Dickson jumped ship from the Liberal National Party (LNP) to join One Nation, but has been rebuffed by voters, who have instead elected the LNP candidate Brent Mickelberg.
Former One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has also lost his bid for the state seat of Ipswich.
A Galaxy exit poll conducted for Nine News has predicted Labor will be returned to government, with a 0.9 per cent swing in the vote.
The poll suggested One Nation would attract 13 per cent of the vote while the Greens would attract 9 per cent.
But by 10:00pm, the result remained far from clear, with the ABC election computer giving the ALP 43 seats and the LNP 38.
Labor deputy leader Jackie Trad has claimed victory in the seat of South Brisbane, despite a strong swing to the Greens.
"We won't know the outcome for a number of seats tonight," she said.
"But we do know that here in South Brisbane, with more than 50 per cent of the votes counted, that Labor will end up with about 53 per cent of the two-candidate-preferred."
A strong Green vote in the new Brisbane seat of Maiwar looks set to push LNP treasury spokesman Scott Emerson from office, but it remains unclear whether the winner will be the Greens' Michael Berkman or Labor's Ali King.
'One Nation can win seats'
Shortly before voting closed, One Nation founder Pauline Hanson told Channel Seven she believed her party could win a number of seats.
"People have never given up on me — they're saying, 'you're only saying what I'm thinking'."
Senator Hanson said she had spent the day at polling booths in Buderim and was confident that Mr Dickson, "a great guy", would win.
But less than two hours into the vote count, it was clear Mr Dickson had lost the seat.
In Ipswich, Mr Roberts blamed his loss on "lies from Annastacia Palaszczuk".
Earlier this year, he was forced out of federal politics when the High Court ruled he was a UK citizen when he entered Federal Parliament.
In conceding defeat, Mr Roberts said he was encouraged that One Nation had eaten into the LNP vote.
"It is disappointing that we are not going to win, but I feel very encouraged by especially the support that people of Ipswich have given me on the streets and especially at the polling booth today," he said.
Asked whether he would consider a return to federal politics, Mr Roberts said:
"Another tilt at the Senate would be very much on my mind."
Katter's Australian Party is confident of retaining at least one of its two seats, and perhaps picking up a third.