A week after the election, results in Queensland are pretty much final. The only doubtful seat, Bundaberg, has been won by the National Party, bringing Labor’s net loss to four seats compared to the 2004 election – or just one seat compared to the totals prior to this election, taking into account the ALP’s three by-election losses, all of which it reversed.

Of the four Labor losses, three went to the Liberals and one to the Nationals, while the Nationals also won one seat (Gympie) from an independent. Four other independents retained their seats, as did the sole One Nation MP. Labor finishes with 59 seats, a majority of 29 against all comers.

This is the second election running that Labor has gone backwards, but neither time has its majority been seriously dented. Last time the swing against it was moderately large – somewhere around 4% – but it lost only three seats. This year, perhaps because its members in marginal seats are no longer so fresh, it lost more seats on a much smaller swing (apparently less than 1%).

Labor also strengthened its position in a number of marginal seats. Last time the Liberals were at least making up some ground in the marginals, although the Nationals were not. This time both lost ground: in marginal Labor seats (under 10%) the government averaged a swing in its favour, although still greater when it was running against the Nationals.

More ominously for the Liberals, three of their existing five seats (not counting the by-election gains) also swung to Labor. The Nationals held their ground better, although Labor came close to winning Burdekin and Lockyer from them.

In the overall totals, Labor held steady at about 47% of the primary vote. The Liberals and Nationals both improved slightly, and the Liberals slightly increased their lead over their Coalition partners, now 20.2% to 17.6%. The Greens were fourth on 7.9%, well clear of Family First (1.9%) and One Nation (0.6%).

Queensland is now the only state where the National Party can be confident of outvoting the Greens. In the last NSW election they narrowly edged out the Greens for third place, while in all the other states the Greens are well clear.

Peter Fray

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