Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a meeting with the Local Government Association of Queensland in Brisbane, Monday, November 27, 2017. Picture: AAP/Bradley Kanaris.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during a meeting with the Local Government Association of Queensland in Brisbane, Monday, November 27, 2017. Picture: AAP/Bradley Kanaris.

Premier lays low as Qld poll count continues

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls are laying low as the count to determine a remaining four undecided seats continues.

Ms Palaszczuk has not made a public appearance since last Monday, where she fronted the cameras during a meeting with the Local Government Association of Queensland, but did not take questions from reporters.

Labor sources are confident the government will clinch the 47 seats needed to lead parliament and avoid cutting a deal with a more diverse crossbench. The party had by Monday afternoon won 46 seats compared to the Liberal National Party's 38, with 86.3 per cent of the vote counted.

It is not yet known who will claim the seats of Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, Maiwar and Townsville, where only a handful of votes stand between the candidates.

LNP leader Mr Nicholls, who has made multiple appearances since the November 25 poll, is facing mounting speculation he will be ousted from the opposition's top job, with sources saying he could face a spill this week.

The party's Dale Last, who remains locked in an ongoing vote count with Labor in the seat of Burdekin, says the LNP failed to connect with rural and regional voters and believes Mr Nicholls won't survive as leader.

"Tim's had his run in the top job. I think he's going to find it very, very tough to hang onto that job," Mr Last said.

Of the four names publicly touted as possible successors, Mr Last wouldn't say if he preferred deputy leader Deb Frecklington, returned MP David Crisafulli, Tim Mander or John-Paul Langbroek.

"I want to know what their plans are to take the party forward, and in particular I want to know how they're going to deliver us back into government," he said.

Another LNP MP Glen Elmes, who lost his Noosa seat to independent Sandy Bolton, is holding on to hope for Mr Nicholls.

"He would have made - may still make, who knows - a great premier," Mr Elmes told the ABC.

Several senior former Nationals have blamed the merger with the Liberals a decade ago for the party's poor result, suggesting it has damaged the Nationals' brand in the bush and allowed the ultraconservative One Nation to muscle in.

But LNP president Gary Spence said there are no talks of a breakup.

"There is no discussion within the LNP around a demerger and anyone suggesting otherwise is mischief-making," he told the ABC.

Mr Last said any move to demerge the party would be a "major move".



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