Saturday’s Queensland election might have been a landslide but Saturday’s Crikey election contest is a real cliff-hanger. The contest is too close to call with the title of Australia’s Champion Psephologist depending on the final outcome in the election proper.

Most of the pundits have two seats remaining in doubt: Bundaberg and Clayfield. In Bundaberg, the Electoral Commission figures this morning had the National Party still in front but the newspapers seem to suggest Labor will eventually win. In Clayfield, where the Liberals lead, there are no new figures since those at the close of counting on Saturday night, but the newspaper “experts” seem to expect the Liberals to hold on.

If, and I stress the “if”, Bundaberg and Clayfield are the only seats in doubt and the rest go according to the predictions, then we have the following possible contest outcomes:

Bundaberg won by the Nationals and Clayfield by the Liberals: our winner is Councillor Paul Tully of Ipswich.

Bundaberg won by the Nationals and Clayfield by Labor: Peter Tucker wins.

Bundaberg won by Labor and Clayfield by the Liberals: the winner is James Lette, a social planner now working in Sydney.

Bundaberg won by Labor and Clayfield by Labor: the winner is James Lette.

As an indicator of the election outcome, the combined wisdom of contestants provided a credible guide. Only 4.1% of entrants went for Labor not getting a majority of seats and the median prediction was Labor to win 58 seats which compares with the likely outcome of Labor winning either 59 or 60 depending on Bundaberg.

We will have a full report when the final electorate counts are in.

Peter Fray

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