Labor has now almost certainly won the 47 seats it needs to form a majority government in Queensland, as predicted by ABC election analyst Antony Green on Sunday.
Mr Green today called the seat of Gaven in the Gold Coast hinterland for Labor, giving Annastacia Palaszczuk the magic 47 seats needed.
It means she will not need to rely on crossbenchers to guarantee supply and confidence — something she ruled out during the month-long campaign.
The Liberal National Party has 38 seats, and there are still four seats in doubt — two of which are expected to go to the LNP.
Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) spokesman Dermot Tiernan said it still had not received all of the votes for counting, and it could be next week before an official result is declared.
“As of yesterday we had 100,000 postal votes still in the hands of Australia Post,” he said.
“They will come — they’ve got until close of business next Tuesday to arrive — and then they can be assessed for whether they’ve been properly filled out and then scrutinised and then added to the count.”
ABC election analyst Antony Green said it was unlikely Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would officially claim victory until the ECQ finished the count.
“What happened today was basically some extra results came in for Gaven, which put Gaven beyond doubt as a Labor victory,” he said.
“Of the 47 seats, the only seat there that there might be any doubt … still — is Macalister where [independent candidate] Hetty Johnston is 980 votes behind the LNP candidate in third place.
“But at this stage she still has to close that gap and we won’t know if that closes until next week — personally I think it’s unlikely.”
Labor’s pledge to only govern with majority
During the election campaign, Ms Palaszczuk made repeated promises she would only govern with a majority.
Ms Palaszczuk even went so far as professing she would go into Opposition rather than rely on the crossbench.
If Labor does not get a majority and refuses to govern, the LNP will try to get support to form a minority government.
Given the Queensland Greens had already ruled out supporting the LNP, election analyst Green said it was highly unlikely Mr Nicholls could form a minority government.
“If he doesn’t have the numbers to present to the Governor, in a debate about who should form government at the first sitting, then the Governor is going to reappoint the current Government,” he said.
The Queensland Governor would have the decision of choosing who would have the best chance of making a stable Government.
In the lead-up to polling day, there were high expectations One Nation would perform well at the election, but it has only managed to claim one seat.