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The Labor heartland of Ipswich West has sent the state government a strong message, in line with an earlier prediction by Queensland Premier Steven Miles of a double-digit swing against the government.

Voters headed to the polls on Saturday for the Ipswich West and Inala by-elections, following the resignations of Jim Madden and former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The latest projections for Ipswich West, which Labor held with a 14.3 per cent margin, show LNP candidate Darren Zanow taking the seat.

The seat has four candidates, with One Nation and the LNP preferencing each other.

Earlier on Saturday, speaking at a voting booth with ALP candidate Wendy Bourne, Mr Miles said by-elections are “hard for governments”.

“Obviously, we listen to people, we listen to Queenslanders and there’ll be a message in this result for us,” he said. 

“But part of that message will always be that by-elections are hard for governments, easy for oppositions, and we should expect a swing.”

Premier Steven Miles with ALP Ipswich West candidate Wendy Bourne.()

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said the by-election would not change the government, but it would change “how it conducts itself”. 

“We’re under no illusion about how tough the task is. But it is important that we have a strong showing to show the government that the state under their direction is heading in the wrong direction,” he said. 

Annastacia Palaszczuk makes rare public appearance

In a rare public foray at Inala polling booths, former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk gave her party’s Inala candidate Margie Nightingale “the same advice my father gave me”.

It is the first time in more than 30 years a Palaszczuk won’t hold state Labor’s safest seat, although the party is projected to retain it despite another heavy swing to the LNP.

Ms Palaszczuk’s father Henry Palaszczuk was Inala’s member from 1992, until she succeeded him in 2006. 

She stood down as premier and Inala member last December. 

Speaking exclusively to the ABC at the polls with Labor candidate Margie Nightingale, Ms Palaszczuk said the day was about “new beginnings”. 

“I’m going to give her the same advice that my father gave me, and that is: Whoever comes through your door always comes there for a reason and to treat everyone with respect and to make sure that you really listen because they’ve come to you for help.

“So if Margie does that, she’ll be a very, very good local member,” she said. 

margie nightingale taking a selfie with former premier and supporters
Inala candidate Margie Nightingale with former premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the polls. ()

Ms Nightingale had seven challengers: the LNP’s Trang Yen, four independents and the Greens and Legalise Cannabis Party. 

Ms Nightingale, a former teacher, said she stood on “great shoulders”. 

“It’s about continuing to make progress. So for me, I’ll be looking at doing that and I understand what this community needs and I’m ready to listen and I’m really ready to do the hard work.”

Ms Yen, the acting chief financial officer for Trade Investment Queensland, said she was the underdog but “pushing hard”. 

trang yen handing out leaflets
Trang Yen approaches voters as they cast their vote in the Inala by-election. ()

“Youth crime is the number one issue at the moment as well as cost of living,” she said.

“We’re working very hard, and I have a great team behind us.”


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#Queensland #government #projected #lose #Labor #heartland #seat #Ipswich #West #huge #byelection #swing

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