Ferny Grove Election: No Uncertainty


Likely winner Mark Furner

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.

Incumbent MP Dale Shuttleworth

Incumbent MP Dale Shuttleworth

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.



About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services: www.ethicalconsulting.com; Ethical strategies and programs which get you where you need to go ... * Exceptional government & stakeholder relations, * Thriving governance systems, * Specialised project facilitation, * Inbound investment assistance, * Successful marketing, communications and PR campaigns ... and customised training in each of these areas.

Posted on February 5, 2015, in Crisis management, Democracy, Election, Political tactics, Politics, Queensland, Queensland Government, Voting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: