Queensland poll setback for Australian PM Tony Abbott

Queensland poll setback for Australian PM Tony Abbott

Queensland poll setback for Australian PM Tony Abbott

Written by Ranee Mohamed

01 Feb, 2015 | 6:19 am

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s coalition appears to be heading for an embarrassing electoral defeat in the northeastern state of Queensland.

The Liberal National Party’s (LNP) huge majority in Queensland’s state assembly was wiped out, with Premier Campbell Newman losing his own seat. With most of the votes counted, the opposition Labor party seems set to gain control of the state.

Coalition MPs described the result as catastrophic for Mr Abbott.

Liberal MP Jane Prentice told ABC News the party “can’t continue as we are”.”All we are talking about now is the timing and method of execution,” one unnamed Queensland MP told the broadcaster.

The LNP’s defeat is being blamed on unpopular privatisation policies and public sector cuts.But Mr Abbott’s personal popularity has also plummeted in recent months, most recently because of his decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband.Labor is expected to have at least 44 seats in the 89-seat assembly, with the LNP set to hold on to at least 33.

“My political career is over, ” Mr Newman said as he accepted defeat in his Ashgrove constituency.

Mr Newman has not yet conceded the overall result, as nine seats are still undetermined. The LNP made history in 2012, winning 78 seats and the state’s largest ever majority in an election.

-BBC

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