Springborg takes charge of LNP but electorate comes first

IN CHARGE: The newly elected leader of Queensland’s Liberal National Party Lawrence Springborg (left) and his new deputy John-Paul Langbroek speak at a press conference after the party room met on Saturday.
IN CHARGE: The newly elected leader of Queensland’s Liberal National Party Lawrence Springborg (left) and his new deputy John-Paul Langbroek speak at a press conference after the party room met on Saturday. DAN PELED

MEMBER for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg could become the fourth premier of Queensland with a Warwick connection after his appointment as LNP leader on Saturday.

Mr Springborg was elected LNP leader and John-Paul Langbroek his deputy for what could be roles in opposition or government.

"Anyone who thinks they know what is going to happen is jumping the gun," Mr Springborg said.

"Hold your horses."

It is not a prediction but Mr Springborg's best analysis is 44 seats to the ALP, 42 to the LNP, two Katter Australia Party and independent Peter Wellington.

While Mr Wellington's announced support for the ALP may increase the number to 45, the seat of Ferny Grove (ALP win) throws a spanner in the works.

Mr Springborg said there was no precedent for what happened in Queensland in the past nine days.

"We have a Premier losing his seat, a Government losing a large number of seats, no clear result and a potential by-election in the first few weeks," he said.

The Member for Southern Downs was not prepared to speculate on the possibilities on him being premier and the impact on his seat.

He pointed to his work for the electorate when Opposition Leader in the past as proof his support would not wain in whatever role he filled in the weeks and months ahead.

"My electorate is always front and centre, my family has lived in this electorate for four generations," Mr Springborg said.

"The people of Southern Downs have given me the privilege to being their Member of Parliament and know that if I have broad state-wide responsibilities, it can be difficult with time."

The new LNP leader acknowledged the plan to lease assets was a factor in his party's loss of seats but was quick to remind voters that the current ALP leader Annastacia Palaszczuk presided over the sale of Queensland Rail when Minister for Transport.

"The ALP didn't tell anyone at the 2009 election they were going to sell assets, is there any wonder there is a lack of trust. We were up front with our proposal and accept that the plan was rejected by the voters."

If the LNP does form government, Mr Springborg confirmed any plan to lease assets was off the agenda.

"Much of our plan would still be in place, rebuilding the health system with our current efforts the pride of the nation and education where school results are better than three year ago," he said.

"People didn't like the style of government and I accept that, we have a good foundation. We had 42% first preference votes and the ALP 38%."

While Mr Springborg has replaced Mr Newman as LNP leader, Mr Newman remains premier until a new premier is sworn in.

"He still has the commission from the governor. I am still Health Minister, the day to day business of government continues, paramedics are out there saving lives," Mr Springborg said.

"No major policy changes can be implemented without consultation with the opposition."

The result of the election could be clearer on Wednesday or Thursday after the last postal votes are counted and preferences distributed but a question mark remains about Ferny Grove, a seat won by the ALP. The Palmer United Party candidate in Ferny Grove stood while bankrupt and Mr Springborg said the votes he received could materially affect the result in the seat.

Topics:  editors picks lawrence springborg queensland election 2015 southern downs

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