We do so today in what is an historical election for the state.
Polling booths are open from 8 am this morning and will close at 6 pm tonight.
From 6 pm, votes will begin to be tallied and observers are saying a result, or solid indication of a result is expected by 10 pm.
The outcome today will see the formation of the State’s 56th Parliament.
And it is an historic election for three reasons.
Firstly, it’s ‘back to the future’ because we see a return to mandatory preferential voting. It means anyone voting today must number all candidates in order of preference.
• place a one (1) in the box beside your first preference;
• a two (2) in the box beside your second preference;
• a three (3) in the box beside your third preference; and
• continue numbering until all the boxes are numbered.
It was an earlier Labor government that scrapped compulsory preferential voting but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk worked swiftly upon appointment to have it restored in a move many believed was taken to ensure a Labor victory in this, 2017 election.
It is, however, now believed that with the growth in support for minor parties and independents the move will now work against the ALP today.
Secondly, following a review and redistribution of state boundaries, we will elect 93 members to the new Parliament today – The largest number ever, up from 89 in the last election.
Also, today, we elect a Parliament that will be the last to sit for a near three-year term -35 months for this one in fact- As we transition to four-year terms and a locked-in date for future elections.
51% of Queenslanders voted in favour of 4 -year terms in the referendum held in conjunction with the last state election and so today we begin that march towards that outcome.
That means that after today’s election, we will see the next State Election, for the 57th Parliament, held on Saturday, 31st. October 2020.
State Elections will then always be held on the last Saturday of October in the year, 4 years after the last.
Fascinating too, is that this referendum result, is only the second time in the State’s history that saw a referendum pass.
We have had 7 in total…and this one, and the one back in in 1910 which called for religious education to be taught in state schools, are the only two that have ever passed.
So, remember, voting is compulsory, and your vote must be cast under the preferential voting system to count.
Plus More will bring you local results tonight and the overall State picture as it comes to hand, with reports from 6 tonight.