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Borg’s keen for a tilt at the top job

ANOTHER BALLOT TODAY: Lawrence Springborg is a contender for the LNP leadership which will be decided today, with other likely starters including Fiona Simpson, Tim Nicholls and Scott Emerson.
ANOTHER BALLOT TODAY: Lawrence Springborg is a contender for the LNP leadership which will be decided today, with other likely starters including Fiona Simpson, Tim Nicholls and Scott Emerson. Michael Cormack

LOCAL member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg says he will be a contender for the LNP leadership when its MPs meet today at Parliament House in Brisbane to choose a new leader to replace Campbell Newman.

Mr Springborg said the LNP members - at least those in seats not currently in doubt - would meet for the leadership vote at 11am.

It will lead to the bizarre situation of the party having a new leader while Mr Newman remains caretaker Premier until a new government is formed, likely more than a week away.

Under Queensland's constitution the premier holds a "commission" from the State Governor and remains in the caretaker role even if they have lost their seat, as did Mr Newman in the case of Ashgrove in Brisbane.

Mr Springborg yesterday said the current uncertainty - if not chaos - with the lack of a new government was "very different and very Queensland".

While he said he would have a tilt at the LNP leadership he was at pains to point out that neither the LNP or Labor was "any closer" to being able to form a government when vote counting closed last night in the seats still to be decided.

"We (the LNP) are ahead in Whitsunday and postal votes still coming in up there are in our favour," he told the Daily News.

"But we are almost certainly looking at a by-election in Ferny Grove."

A report today in today's Queensland Times in Ipswich suggests there are legal precedents in Queensland which mean a by-election in Ferny Grove - where the Palmer United Party candidate was knocked out of the race for non-declaration of his bankruptcy - will not be necessary.

But it could still be days before there is any legal certainty on the status of the Ferny Grove count, which is expected to go Labor's way if no by-election is needed.

Mr Springborg - who was appointed the "official" LNP negotiator with Nicklin independent Peter Wellington and Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth of Katter's Australian Party - yesterday said discussions with the three crossbench MPs had been "respectful".

"Peter has made it clear he will support Labor - the discussions with KAP have been respectful and productive but I won't say anything more at this point," Mr Springborg said.

Late yesterday seats remaining in doubt were Ferny Grove, Lockyer, Mansfield, Maryborough, Mt Ommaney and Whitsunday.

The LNP has 38 seats confirmed and Labor 42, both parties still no closer to the magic number of 45.

Topics:  lawrence springborg lnp queensland election 2015


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