Writs issued for 2012 Queensland election

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The 2012 Queensland election has been officially set as Premier Anna Bligh advised Governor Penelope Wensley to issue the writs — the formal announcement of the election.

“Absolutely looking forward to it, the 24th of March,” Ms Bligh told reporters, referring to the date of the election.

To lose the ability to govern in its own right, the currently governing Australian Labor Party (ALP) would need to lose sevens seats in Queensland’s unicameral legislature.

Australian Labor Party — 51Liberal National Party — 31Independents — 5Katter’s Australian Party — 2

Total seats — 89

The ALP, of which Ms Bligh is leader, holds 51 seats.The opposition Liberal National Party (LNP), being lead in this campaign by the yet-to-be-elected Cambell Newman, currently holds 31 seats. Two seats are now held by the Katter’s Australian Party (KAP).Five independents make up the 89 Members of Parliament.

The KAP does not plan to direct preference to the major parties, but to consider for individual seats amongst independents and minor parties. “We will look at the merits or otherwise of their policy positions and what they believe in,” said Aidan McLindon.

While the Greens haven’t announced any preference directions, they point out that it is up to the voter how to direct preferences. “If I’m unsuccessful [in being elected in Mt Coot-tha], their vote flows at full value to their second preference,” Greens candidate Adam Stone said. 

The selection of March 24th as the election date drew criticism because it ultimately forced the rescheduling of local government elections — originally scheduled for March 31.

“Why are 73 local government elections around Queensland being pushed back? That adds more months of uncertainty when she has had a year to separate out the two elections,” said Leader of the Liberal National Party, Campbell Newman. Newman will have to win the seat of Ashgrove if he is to become premier.

Local government elections are now scheduled for late April.

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