Katters hold firm in North

North Queensland state election results see Katters returned

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Traeger MP Robbie Katter was never in danger.

Traeger MP Robbie Katter was never in danger.

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Katter's Australian Party is maintaining its stronghold in North Queensland, with its three sitting members almost certain to retain their seats.

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KATTER'S Australian Party is maintaining its stronghold in North Queensland, with its three sitting members almost certain to retain their seats.

It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk claims victory with the Labor government to be returned to power for its first four year term.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was confident a majority Labor government would be returned, despite key marginal seats in the North remaining in limbo as the first of the primary votes are counted.

But there is no doubt over who will be returned to the rural seats of Traeger and Hill.

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter will return for a fourth-term in state parliament, after securing 61 per cent of the vote, with 40 per cent counted.

At 10pm, Labor's James Bambrick was in second position with 19pc of the vote to the LNP's Marnie Smith on 16pc.

Traeger was the safest seat in Queensland following the 2017 election, with Mr Katter holding it by 28.5pc.

Nor was Hill MP Shane Knuth.

Nor was Hill MP Shane Knuth.

Likewise in Hill, Shane Knuth is holding firm and is set to return for another term.

Mr Knuth, who was first elected to the seat of Charters Towers in 2004, which was then abolished to become Dalrymple, before redistribution sent him to contest Hill in 2017, is likely to become a 20 year veteran of parliament.

Mr Knuth has 50pc of the preliminary vote in his favour, with his nearest contender Michael Hodgkins for Labor on 20pc with 29pc of the vote counted.

And first-term KAP MP Nick Dametto is streets ahead in Hinchinbrook, with more than 50pc of the vote counted.

Nick Dametto will return for Hinchinbrook.

Nick Dametto will return for Hinchinbrook.

Despite him jagging the job in 2017 on preferences, Mr Dametto is polling well in the first preference count, with 47pc of the vote to his nearest challenger, the LNP's Scott Piper, on 24pc.

Burdekin MP Dale Last is also safe, if early indications are correct.

As the northern-most LNP member, Mr Last had a slim 0.8pc margin heading into the election.

Dale Last is coming first.

Dale Last is coming first.

But despite winning on preferences in 2017, when ALP candidate Mike Brunker secured more numbers in the primary vote, the tide seems to have turned.

Mr Last has 44.7pc of the vote, to Mr Brunker, contesting again for the ALP on 26.6pc. Sam Cox, who is contesting the seat for KAP, after having a crack in 2017 for One Nation, has this time secured 16.05pc, with 42pc counted.

Further south, Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan is out.

The embattled MP, who first won the seat for the LNP in 2012, was sensationally ousted from the party in early 2019.

He went on to form his own party North Queensland First and is recontesting Whitsunday as its leader.

Farewell 'Costo'

Farewell 'Costo'

With 45pc of the vote counted, Mr Costigan is trailing far behind both the ALP and LNP candidates who are in line for a photo finish.

ALP candidate Angie Kelly has attracted 5072 votes, or 33.19pc, while LNP candidate Amanda Camm had 4885 or 31.96pc.

Mr Costigan has attracted just 1498 first preference votes, or 9.8pc only slightly ahead of One Nation candidate Deb Lawson, with 1324 votes or 8.66pc.

The marginal seats around Townsville are all falling in favour of the sitting ALP members, with about 30pc of the vote counted in Townsville, Mungingburra and Thuringowa.

But with pre-polling numbers among the highest in the state, and Townsville held by the slimmest margin of 0.4pc, preferences are likely to be a factor and the seats may not be decided for some time.

Cynthia Lui seems safe for the ALP in Cook.

Cynthia Lui seems safe for the ALP in Cook.

In the Far North, Labor sitting members are all ahead.

Cook MP Cynthia Lui will retain the seat for the ALP. Ms Cook has an unbeatable lead of 48.6pc of the preliminary vote, with her nearest contender the LNP's Nipper Brown on 18pc, with 34pc of the vote counted.

The ALP's Cairns MP Michael Healy has 46pc, and Barron River MP Craig Crawford has 40pc but their LNP counterparts remain within striking distance.

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