Labor’s Herbert win means Turnbull has a majority of only one

Share Canberra's trusted news:

michelle grattan

Labor has won the Queensland seat of Herbert, but the Liberal National Party has left the way open for a court challenge.

The Australian Electoral Commission declared on Sunday that ALP candidate Cathy O’Toole had beaten sitting Liberal Ewen Jones by 37 votes, after a recount.

The Queensland LNP said in a statement it was “examining a number of issues reported to the party to determine if all Herbert electors were given the opportunity to vote”. It will then decide whether to appeal to the Court of Disputed Returns, which is the High Court, calling for a fresh election in the seat.

There have been suggestions that some soldiers missed out on voting because they were away on exercises, and that there was a problem with hospital patients not having the opportunity to cast a vote.

Herbert is the last House of Representatives seat to be finalised. The result means the Turnbull government has the narrowest possible majority – 76 seats in the 150-member house.

A new election held in Herbert would give Malcolm Turnbull the chance, if the Liberals could reverse this result, to increase the government’s house numbers beyond the bare margin of one. But it could also sour the start of this term for Turnbull if a second vote confirmed Labor in the seat.

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan said there would be about 40 days for a challenge to be lodged, from the return of the writ in a week’s time.

The Senate count will be finalised this week.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleACT snaps up Belconnen rural land
Next articleReview / ‘Where Go The Boats?’ at Wesley
Michelle Grattan
Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra, Michelle Grattan is one of Australia's most respected and awarded political journalists.

Leave a Reply