Nation on a knife-edge

Federal Election results 2019

Federal Election National News
One of these men will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

One of these men will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

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The democracy sausages have been consumed and votes cast as the nation waits to find out who will take government for the next three years.

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THE democracy sausages have been consumed and votes cast as the nation waits to find out who will take government for the next three years.

Counting is now under way in what is expected to be a tight race for Australia's top job.

University of Queensland political analyst Chris Salisbury said the latest news poll indicated a tight margin with Labor just ahead.

"I anticipate Labor will win enough seats to form a majority government but it will be a story of gains and losses for both Labor and the government, and not necessarily the huge swing that might have been on the cards some time back," Dr Salisbury said.

"In Queensland and Victoria there will not necessarily be a huge shift in the number of seats."

Dr Salisbury said the results in Herbert, the most marginal seat in the country which takes in much of Townsville, and others along the Queensland coast would be a coin toss.

Herbert is currently held by Labor's Cathy O'Toole by just 0.02 per cent after she won the seat by just 37 votes in 2016. It is being contested by eight candidates including the LNP's Phillip Thompson and Katter's Australian Party candidate Nanette Radeck.

"Herbert and other marginal seats along the coastline it really is a coin toss, I suspect the seat may fall back to the Coalition given the volitility of the vote there and issues like Adani being in the mix, with such a narrow margin it only takes slight movement.

"A seat like Capricornia might go the other way, so we might see something of a status quo in Queensland."

Dr Salisbury anticipated Dawson, which takes in southern Townsville suburbs and Mackay, would remain with the Coalition's George Christensen.

He said preferences, with so many different political parties in the mix, postal votes and the high number of people who pre-polled may lead to a drawn out process for the candidate to be decided in close seats.

"There is always some delays in the marginal seats where results are so tight and every vote counts and is sometimes recounted."

Dr Salisbury said he expected the Liberal's deal with Clive Palmer's United Australia Party might help his chances of scoring a seat in the senate.

"It might come down to a bit of a fight between Clive Palmer or Malcolm Roberts as to who gets the last senate seat in Queensland."

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