November 2, 2020
UPDATE: Deb Frecklington announced at 11:35am on Monday that she was resigning as LNP leader.
“I am the leader and I do take responsibility for the election loss, ” Mrs Frecklington told reporters.
“It was a difficult year for the Opposition; it was a difficult election for the Opposition.
“At the start of 2020, the LNP (had) a very strong prospect of winning this election.
“There is no doubt that COVID has had a huge impact on Queensland politics.”
She thanked her family and volunteers and said she was proud of the policies and the candidates the LNP had put forward.
“I am determined as ever to fight on, on behalf of the people of Nanango and the people of Queensland,” she said.
She wished her successor “all the very best” and said she was willing to serve in any capacity under a new leader.
Mrs Frecklington said she was looking forward to enjoying a wine at the Kumbia Races on Tuesday.
In an official statement on Monday afternoon, Mrs Frecklington said it was “a great honour and a privilege” to be elected for a fourth term as the Member for Nanango.
“I am very humbled and sincerely thank the community for putting their faith in me. I took on this role to make a difference in our regional areas, and I will continue to fight for our fair share in the Nanango Electorate,” she said.
“There is so much opportunity right here, but it needs backing with better roads, better health services and less red and green tape for our primary producers and small business.
“This is what I’ll be working to achieve for our Nanango Electorate communities – right across the South Burnett, Somerset, northern Toowoomba, Cherbourg and western Gympie areas.
“I’ll continue to work hard each and every day because I love this area, and the people who call our beautiful part of the world home.”
* * *
It wasn’t a celebration for LNP supporters in Kingaroy on Saturday night but it wasn’t a wake, either, as tired and sunburnt booth volunteers gathered to hear the results of the State Election.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington cruised to victory in her own seat – although no results have yet been officially declared – but her role as Opposition Leader meant she was in Brisbane rather than with her local team as the numbers rolled in.
Mrs Frecklington was surrounded by family members – many of whom had travelled down to Brisbane after working all day on South Burnett booths – when she fronted the TV cameras after it was clear the LNP would not be able to form government.
Supporters cheered after Mrs Frecklington declared defiantly she intended to stay on as LNP Leader.
But Deputy Leader Tim Mander, speaking earlier on ABC-TV, seemed less sure about the future leadership of the party.
And former party leader – and now Sky News contributor – Campbell Newman was scathing on social media, stating: “Spare me the COVID-19 excuse for what’s happening tonight in Qld. The LNP primary vote was 36pc a year ago. We had a problem prior to the pandemic”.
Calling for a leadership spill, he said he was surprised Mrs Frecklington had not done it already.
Speculation on ABC Radio and in the metropolitan media on Monday morning was that a spill would be called before the end of this week.
* * *
At 9:55am on Monday, Mrs Frecklington had secured 49.94 per cent of the primary vote in Nanango ahead of Mark Stapleton (ALP) with 28.20 per cent; Tony Scrimshaw (One Nation) with 14.75 per cent; Maggie O’Rance (Legalise Cannabis Qld) 4.83 per cent; and John Harbison (The Greens) 3.28 per cent.
In Callide, Colin Boyce (LNP) had 57.11 per cent of the primary vote, ahead of Gordon Earnshaw (ALP) with 25.54 per cent; Adam Burling (Ind) 8.81 per cent; Loris Doessel (Ind) 4.6 per cent; and Anthony Walsh (The Greens) 3.88 per cent.