Queensland election: only 35 of 89 seats declared
A FINAL election result may still be days away after only 35 of the 89 Queensland seats were officially declared Tuesday night.
As political leaders and the rest of the state anxiously await the final results, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey also on Tuesday quashed speculation that Queensland could remain without a government until a by-election was held in Ferny Grove.
Following the official resignation of former premier Campbell Newman yesterday, Mr de Jersey announced on Twitter he would commission a new leader following the polls declaration.
This week, Labor and the LNP have had different views over how the state should proceed given the controversy in the Ferny Grove electorate, after one candidate was confirmed to be an undischarged bankrupt and ineligible to run.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland plans to refer the results to the Court of Disputed Returns.
Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said writs would be forwarded following the seat's declaration and the Ferny Grove MP, which was likely to be Labor's Mark Furner, would be officially elected. But LNP leader Mr Springborg urged caution.
He said the state could remain in caretaker mode until the matter was finalised because it could impact the overall outcome of the election. On Tuesday, Mr de Jersey made his intentions clear by tweeting, "I will commission new Premier following #qldvotes polls declaration".
Mr Newman will remain caretaker premier until a new one is appointed, despite officially tendering his resignation to Mr de Jersey on Tuesday.
"In accordance with my constitutional duty, I have agreed it is my obligation to remain in office as caretaker premier until that time," Mr Newman said in a statement.
"It is a duty I take very seriously and one I will continue to undertake to the best of my ability."
Tuesday at 6pm was the final deadline for the Electoral Commission of Queensland to receive postal votes.
It was hoped seats would be officially declared immediately following this deadline but the ECQ warned the process took time.
They also could not estimate how long it would take as the number of postal votes was unclear.
"We cannot estimate how many we may receive as it really comes down to many factors such as whether people voted and the performance of postal deliveries," an ECQ representative said.
They also said the closely contested seats of Lockyer, Mt Ommaney and Whitsunday continued to be tight and could take a couple more days to finalise.
Throughout Tuesday, more and more seats were being officially declared.
Among the first 16 seats to be declared was Ms Palaszczuk's seat of Inala while Toowoomba South went to LNP's John McVeigh and Peter Wellington had secured the seat of Nicklin.
Mr Newman's seat of Ashgrove was declared about lunchtime yesterday, which officially went to Labor's Kate Jones.
The final tally revealed Ms Jones secured 44.43% of votes, against Mr Newman's 43.66%. Ipswich was also declared Labor's Jennifer Howard's seat and Kawana went to LNP's Jarrod Bleijie.
By later yesterday afternoon, Labor's Glenn Butcher was declared the winner in Gladstone.
As at 6pm Tuesday, about 89% of votes had been counted. Of the 35 declared seats, Labor had officially secured 19 with the LNP on 14. But as vote counters work business hours, no further declarations were expected overnight.