Labor returned to power in Queensland

The Labor Party was returned to office in the Queensland state election held in March. Despite her poor handling of the recent oil spill of the coast, the election saw Labor leader Anna Bligh become the first female Premier elected in her own right.

Labor did however reduce their majority from 59 to 53 seats. The Liberal National Party (LNP) opposition won 32 seats, up from 25. On a two-party preferred basis, Labor had 51.3 per cent of the vote to the LNP’s 48.7 per cent. This represented a 3.5 per cent swing to the LNP.

Against the backdrop of the economic downturn, especially in the mining sector, voters decided to stay with the devil they know rather than put their trust in the newly merged Liberal National Party. In the cities, voters were extremely weary of the National Party connection.

Far right anti-immigration campaigner, Pauline Hanson, failed in her attempt to win a seat as an independent and the Greens also failed to return their sole MP Ronan Lee. Lee, a staunch anti-abortionist, defected from Labor last year and joined the Greens becoming their only sitting MP in Queensland. Overall the Greens polled about 8 per cent across the state.

The most striking aspect of this election was its blandness due to the lack of difference between the two major parties. A mass party that represents the interests of working people is desperately needed in Queensland as it is in other parts of Australia.

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