Australia’s opposition Labor Party pulled off a huge electoral turnaround in Queensland yesterday. The voter backlash threatens the future of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, since Labor could now oust the state’s ruling Liberal-National Party (LNP).
With 70 per cent of the vote in, the conservative government that had ruled Queensland with a massive majority, albeit for a single term, was just one seat away from losing office.
The state Labor leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said: “It’s still too close to call, but I am very hopeful that we’ll be able to form government.”
The huge swing towards Labor was credited to the unpopularity of the LNP’s plan to sell public assets and cut government services, as well as the rising unpopularity of Mr Abbott, the national conservative leader.
When it won office in 2012, the LNP secured 78 of the 89 seats in the Queensland parliament – the largest political majority in Australia’s history.