Queensland by-election results for Bundamba and Currumbin
THE race for the crucial state seat of Currumbin was last night down to the wire, with Labor claiming they were behind by just 30 votes in the initial count.
In a tight race that could mean disaster for Deb Frecklington's leadership if it was to go to
Labor, the Opposition Leader took aim at her former colleague and former member Jann Stuckey for bullying candidate Laura Gerber.
Labelling the by-election as "extraordinary", she said Ms Gerber had had a particularly difficult time as the retired Ms Stuckey took aim from the sidelines.
"Because of the impact of the coronavirus, there was a very low voter turnout today and it may be days before we know what the final result is," Ms Frecklington said last night.
"This was a tough campaign for Laura and her family.
"The unprovoked attacks by Jann Stuckey on Laura has taken an emotional toll on her family."
Just last week, Ms Stuckey quit the party, blaming its endorsement of Ms Gerber without the endorsement of local members for her decision.
But LNP officials downplayed Labor's claims there were 30 votes in it as a "wild guess", pointing to the massive numbers of pre-poll and postal votes still to be counted.
It came after Ms Frecklington earlier urged voters to punish Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad for making them vote amid the coronavirus pandemic in a co-ordinated text message and Facebook campaign.
Ms Frecklington criticised the pair for cancelling next week's parliament sitting amid the escalating coronavirus crisis, but "still forcing millions of Queenslanders to vote today".
The message came as LNP-branded text message flooded the phones of voters in Currumbin and One Nation robocalls to voters in Bundamba carried the similar messages.
Ms Frecklington is desperate to retain Currumbin after the retirement of long-serving Ms Stuckey, who has been a thorn in the LNP's side since she quit over mental health issues and claims of internal bullying.
Asked yesterday if she was confident, Ms Gerber said she was "excited to be a strong voice for Currumbin".
Her Labor rival, Ms Campradt, said she was "feeling really good" and expected the result to "come down to the wire".
But she blasted prominent bunting and signage at polling stations with headshots of a "weak" Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her "dodgy" deputy Jackie Trad, some of them also carrying her own image.
In Bundamba, former ETU official Lance McCallum looked to retain the safe Labor seat, albeit with a reduced majority.
With nearly 35 per cent of votes counted Mr McCallum was ahead with 42 per cent of first preferences, and likely to win preference flows from the Greens, who had polled 14 per cent.
That was ahead of One Nation rival Sharon Bell, who had 27 per cent and the LNP's 16 per cent result.
Mr McCallum said the early results were encouraging but there was no clear result tonight.
"There's a record number of postal votes to be counted so I think that it's best for all of us to perhaps accept that and get some rest and see what tomorrow's going to bring," he said.