Rockhampton residents cast their vote in the 2015 state election at the Rockhampton State High School polling booth. Photo Rachael Conaghan/The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton residents cast their vote in the 2015 state election at the Rockhampton State High School polling booth. Photo Rachael Conaghan/The Morning Bulletin Rachael Conaghan

Statewide election results: what is taking so long?

UPDATE: IT'S now five days since Queenslanders voted in local government elections however the Electoral Commission of Queensland says residents could be waiting up to five more days in close seats.

In Toowoomba votes continue to be counted and so far 29 of 63 booths have been finished

The Sunshine Coast has fared better however each council division still appears to have at least one outstanding booth.

Just north of there in Noosa while people are calling in the result, the final count is still yet to be finalised.

It's a similar story across the state, while the results are known in most places because a candidate has gained an unassailable lead, the counts have not been finished.

A spokesman for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government had indicated it is seeking a review of the ECQ following the most recent local government elections.

However a spokesman for the ECQ said the count was not taking all that long and residents in close divisions could be waiting up to five days more.

"Overall, the count is not actually taking much longer than usual," the spokesman said.

"We do have a state referendum to count as well of course, and an extra three million ballots will increase counting times somewhat.

"Further declarations will be made this afternoon around 4pm, and the Commission will release a media statement after that occurs.

"The Local Government Act 2011 under which ECQ administers the election provides 10 days for postal votes to be returned to the Commission. 

"Close results will not be known until counting has finished after the expiration of that deadline."

SEVERAL sitting Mayors have retained their seats as the votes are tallied across Queensland.

On the Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has been returned after winning more than 61% of the first 80,000 votes counted.

His closest rival was Greens candidate Tony Gibson who secured 17.93% of the vote.

Just south of the coast, in the Moreton region, incumbent Allan Sutherland will also be returned.

Cr Sutherland has won more than 52% of the first 130,000 votes counted with his nearest rival, Dean Teasdale, sitting on 17.9%.

In Brisbane several polls had indicated the contest between Labor's Rod Harding and incumbent LNP Mayor Graham Quirk would be close.

Many had believed the backlash felt by the Newman Government in January last year would also be felt in City Hall.

However this hasn't happened and Cr Quirk has claimed victory.

In 2012 Cr Quirk won the election with a resounding 61.94% of the vote and the ALP secured just 25.16%.

This time around that margin has been slashed with Cr Quirk securing 52.47% of the first 380,000 votes while Mr Harding has improved the ALP's stocks netting 32.9%.


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On the Gold Coast incumbent Tom Tate has declared victory after securing 64.5% of the first 117,000 votes counted.

In Toowoomba sitting Mayor Paul Antonio has claimed the day after winning 76% of the first 28,500 votes. 

And in Ipswich Paul Pisasale has also claimed victory after winning more than 83% of the first 33,000 ballots.

Further north, in Gympie, incumbent Mayor Mick Curran has started celebrating at a local restaurant after securing just less than 70% of the 12,000 votes.

Working north again, on the Fraser Coast the region has a real race on its hands with incumbent Gerard O'Connell and challenger Chris Loft neck and neck. 

After 11,000 votes were counted Cr O'Connell was ahead with about 32.05% of voters favouring him and 30.67% of voters liking Mr Loft.

However now just more than 23,000 votes are in and Loft has edged ahead with 33.03% of the vote going to him and 30.11% going to O'Connell.

It's fair to say that result will not be finalised tonight.

Gladstone in the state's north has broken the trend of incumbents retaining their seats, with former deputy mayor Matt Burnett, taking the top job off his former boss Gail Sellers and declaring victory after just less than 60% of the first 23,000 votes counted. 

In Rockhampton it's looking like a close two horse race with incumbent Margaret Strelow sitting on 36.5% of the vote and challenger Michael McMillan 28.1% with more than 15,000 votes counted.

In Bundaberg Jack Dempsey is yet to claim victory but looks a certainty with more than 70% of the early count.

In Mackay it's looking like it's all over with Greg Williamson set to be the next mayor.

In terms of the referendum on fixed four year terms, it is still too close to call but the "Yes" case is looking like it will prevail.

Just more than 680,000 votes have been counted and 53.44% of Queenslanders have cast in favour of fixed four year terms with "No" case getting 46.56%. 

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