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By election possible for Ferny Grove after disqualified PUP

A BY-ELECTION in one seat could make all the difference in the election results following revelations that one candidate in the seat of Ferny Grove was bankrupt and thus ineligible to run.

Ferny Grove in Brisbane was considered in doubt  as the number of votes between LNP and Labor candidates came down to the wire.

But it will need to be determined whether more than 800 votes, which went to allegedly undischarged bankrupt Palmer United Party candidate Mark Taverner, would have made a difference in the outcome in the undeclared seat.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has received legal advice on the matter and in a statement says they will continue with the counting of votes and the allocation of preferences.

Electoral Commissioner, Walter van der Merwe stated he will be further considering the Commission's legal position while the count continues.

Options open to the Commission include a challenge in the Court of Disputed Returns of the Ferny Grove election which may result in a by-election for the district.

They were also unable to provide a timeline on when they expected to receive this advice.

On Wednesday the difference between the two main candidates - LNP's Dale Shuttleworth and Labor's Mark Furner - was about 400 votes, with Mr Furner leading.

Griffith University political analyst Dr Paul Williams said there was a "good chance" there would have to be a by-election in Ferny Grove.

But if this occurred, he said it could go with the rest of the state and confirm Labor in the seat.

"I think that may impact voting... I suspect the Labor candidate will do better," he said.

Queensland University of Technology academic and former Speaker of the Queensland Parliament John Mickel said it was possible the Ferny Grove by-election could determine the outcome of the overall state election.

He said if the allegations against Mr Taverner were confirmed, the matter could be referred to the Court of Disputed Returns.

"The result will have to be declared because you can't have a government in limbo," he said. "A government will need to be formed. The makeup of that government and whether it survives may come down to a by-election."

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  palmer united party politics queensland election 2015


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