Cunningham wins, candidates speak
After 16 years in the job, Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has won the right to continue for another term.
Mrs Cunningham secured victory over her nearest rival, Labour candidate Glenn Butcher, by a considerable margin.
"Its exciting, it's humbling," she said at the end of a very long day. "I've got a team of people in there that have worked so hard. Not jsut today but some of them for a number of weeks getting the campaign ready. I am incredibly thankful to them and I am so thankful to the community that voted."
Mrs Cunningham expressed optimism that she could work with the new LNP government led by Campbell Newman.
"I've met already with Campbell newman to talk about our infrastructure needs and he's well aware of that and he has acknowledged the growth stresses that are her in Gladstone."
In the wake of a monumental victory by LNP over the Labor government, Mrs Cunningham said the public had "simply had enough."
Labor Candidate Glenn Butcher has conceded defeat at about 7.30 pm.
At 8 pm, Mrs Cunningham had 49.65 percent of the primary vote after 19 out of 22 polling booths had been counted.
Her nearest rival, Mr Butcher had 29.08 percent.
As counting nears conclusion in the polling booths around the seat of Gladstone, the Independent Memeber for Gladstone Liz Cunningham looks to be romping home.
LNP candidate Russell Schroder had 10.48 percent.
Katter's Australian Party candidate Anthony Beezley had 8.80 percent.
Greens candidate Andrew Blake had 2.00 percent.
More to come.
A perfect day with blue skies greeted voters after a week of horrible weather.
News from today includes;
- Independent member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham voted early this morning at Calliope.
- Gladstone's Greens candidate, Andrew Green, will vote in the seat of Ashwood today. He told the Observer his party is full of optimism today and he believes the party has a strong chance of winning its first ever seat in parliament. That seat, if won, would likely be Mt Cooper.
- Labor candidate Glenn Butcher voted at midday in Kin Kora. He said he was still optimistic about his chances of causing an upset victory in the seat, which is expected to be helb by Mrs Cunningham. he described it as a "two-horse race" between himself and Mrs Cunningham.
- Mr Butcher said he was disappointed Premier Anna Bligh had conceded defeat so early in the election campaign.
- LNP candidate Russell Schroter said his party had made a strategic decision not to hand out how-to-vote cards because they were concerned they would split the conservative vote and give Labor a stronger chance of winning the seat from Liz Cunningham. The strategy indicates the LNP gave itself little chance of defeating Mrs Cunningham, and decided its best option was to take their foot off the accelerater. Gladstone was considered a safe Labor seat until Mrs Cunningham won it 16 years ago. Mr Schroder said he accepted the party's decision.
- Mr Butcher described as "disgusting" the decision by LNP not to attempt to win the seat as a strategy to clear the way for his defeat.
- Katter's Australian Party candidate Anthony Beezley said it was a "relief" to finish the campaign. He also said he was proud of the campaign and would step up for another role in politics.