Ferny Grove Election: No Uncertainty
What happens in Queensland’s Ferny Grove electorate from now is perfectly clear: the only confusion is being propagated by the ignorant, and by people who should know better*.
Yes, there’s a problem in the Ferny Grove electorate: one candidate is ineligible to run. The law is clear: once the election is under way, unless a Court orders otherwise, the Electoral Commission of Queensland counts the ballot and declares a result.
The Liberal National Party has made clear that they will challenge that result – I imagine they won’t do that if their candidate wins. The ECQ might also challenge the result – the equivalent was done in Western Australia over the disputed 2013 Senate election.
Whoever is declared elected by the ECQ is a Member of Parliament and takes their seat in Parliament, unless a court orders otherwise.
If Labor‘s Mark Furner is elected, as seems likely as of today, The LNP might ask the Court of Disputed Returns to suspend the declaration by the ECQ, but I don’t believe that has been done before in Australia in a case where there doubt exists about the outcome of the full trial.
The Court case would take perhaps four or five months, as it did in the Mundingburra case in 1995/1996.
So, there is every reason to believe that Mark Furner will be the MP for Ferny Grove for at least four months, and possibly three years.
The only thing in doubt is whether Mr Justice Carmody can properly sit as a member of the Court of Disputed Returns.
* Update: There’s even less confusion now (16 February 2015) that both the LNP and the ECQ have decided against taking the result to a Court of Disputed Returns.
Posted on February 5, 2015, in Crisis management, Democracy, Election, Political tactics, Politics, Queensland, Queensland Government, Voting and tagged Court of Disputed Returns, Dale shuttleworth, Election Law, Election tactics, Mark Furner. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.