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Ferny Grove by-election for Queensland election unlikely says election analyst

ABC election analyst
Antony Green
A RESPECTED political analyst says a Ferny Grove by-election is unlikely but voters may have to wait months for the final word on the matter.

ABC political analyst Antony Green’s (picturedt) comments come after the Electoral Commission Queensland confirmed it would refer the result in Ferny Grove to the Court of Disputed Returns once counting was completed.

Revelations Palmer United Party candidate Mark Taverner, who so far received nearly 1000 votes, was an undischarged bankrupt mean he was ineligible to run in the election.

Green said his prediction for Ferny Grove was made in light of a similar case referred to Northern Territory and subsequent High Court comment on the outcome.

“There has been one case of this in the Northern Territory in 1987,” Green said.

He said the 1987 Barkly election was similarly coloured by the disqualification of a candidate — Labor’s Keith Hallett — who won 314 votes. The court ordered a by-election. But the next year the High Court said it was difficult to see how the original election was miscarried, considering the disqualified candidate did not win office.

“But whatever the case here, it’s not going to be decided quickly,” Green said.

He said it took the Court of Disputed Returns 11 months to make a ruling on a close-run election in Nicklin in 1989, in which there were also disputed ballot papers.