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LNP concedes defeat in Queensland, leader resigns

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Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has finally conceded defeat in the state election nearly a fortnight after polls closed.

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Nicholls called Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday morning to officially concede defeat.

The Premier is expected to visit Governor Paul De Jersey to declare she can form a government this afternoon.

However, a spokesman for the premier said Palaszczuk will wait until the Electoral Commission of Queensland officially declared Labor has won the 47 seats needed to form a majority before making the trip.

With the vote count tight across most of the state, the LNP said it would only concede once it had no chance of claiming victory.

But with the ECQ set to declare the winners of the final handful of seats in state parliament today, the LNP now admits it has no path to victory.

It’s on track to pick up 39 seats to Labor’s 48, which would give Labor a slim two-seat majority.

Nicholls will also stand down as LNP leader, with a party room meeting to be held next Tuesday to determine who will lead the LNP into the future.

In a statement released today, Nicholls said he was “proud” of the campaign his team had run, but it hadn’t got them over the line.

“While the result is disappointing for the thousands of LNP supporters, the MPs who did not hold their seats and the candidates who were not elected, everybody should be proud of the campaign we ran,” Nicholls wrote.

“I pay homage to each and every volunteer who helped our campaign and to those who stood on polling booths, delivering our positive message until the end.”

It’s not known whether Nicholls will resign from parliament entirely, although in the statement he thanked the people of his electorate of Clayfield “for re-electing me for my fifth term.”

Nicholls’ deputy, Deb Frecklington, along with Tim Mander, John Paul Langbroek and newly-re-elected David Crisafulli are all in the mix as a possible replacement.

Palaszczuk has been working on her cabinet line up while she waits for the vote count to conclude.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt is expected to be on the chopping block and could be offered the Speaker’s role.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is expected to take over as Treasurer, with Health Minister Cameron Dick also expected to take on an economic portfolio.

Queensland election: winners and losers

WINNERS

Annastacia Palaszczuk – Becomes the first woman leader in Australia’s political history to win a second term, gaining enough seats to form a majority government in Queensland’s parliament.

Robbie Katter – the state leader of Katter’s Australian Party will return to parliament with up to two other members in his team, which will include fellow incumbent Shane Knuth, and a possible newcomer Nick Dametto once the seat of Hinchinbrook is decided.

The Greens – The minority party caused a stir and won its first seat in parliament. Candidate Amy McMahon ran a close second to Deputy Premier Jackie Trad in South Brisbane, while Michael Berkman claimed the inner-Brisbane electorate of Maiwar.

LOSERS

Tim Nicholls – The Liberal National Party leader was unsuccessful in his bid to return the conservative party to power after a term in the political wilderness and oversaw the loss of some high profile members. On Friday, he fell on his sword and announced he wouldn’t recontest the leadership.

Scott Emerson – A solid performer for the Liberal National Party in the last parliament, the former shadow treasurer faced an impressive offensive from the Greens in the seat of Maiwar, and was ultimately ousted when the race tightened between the minority party and Labor.

One Nation – Tipped as kingmaker in the polls leading up to the vote, Pauline Hanson’s party flopped when Queenslanders went to the polls, securing only one seat in the 56th parliament.

– AAP

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