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Queensland Election: Count continues in 5 key seats as Labor inches closer to victory

AS Labor celebrates one of the biggest swings in Australia political history that swept premier Campbell Newman and his first-term government from power, the results are still out for some seats in Queensland. 

Counting in five seats will determine if Labor wins majority government in Queensland.

Counting was still underway in many seats across the state, with Labor projected to win 43 of the 45 seats it needs to form government in the 89-seat parliament.

The LNP held 39 seats, Katter’s Australia Party held two and independent Peter Wellington retained his seat.

Labor only needs to win two more seats to form majority government in the Sunshine State.

One of those seats is increasingly likely to be Maryborough where Labor’s Bruce Saunders was leading leading the LNP’s Anne Maddern by about 1200 votes.

Labor has a distinct chance of picking up Whitsunday as well where the LNP’s Jason Costigan was a mere 84 votes ahead Bronwyn Taha.

Less than 1000 votes were also separating Labor and LNP in Mansfield, in Brisbane’s south, and Glass House in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The seat of Gaven on the Gold Coast is increasingly likely to be retained by the LNP, where the party was ahead of Labor by over 2000 votes on Sunday afternoon.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) says it has directed more staff to the five seats to speed up the counts and find out the overall result more quickly.

“The ECQ is aware that it’s crucial to determine the outcome in those marginal seats quickly so the wheels of government can begin to turn again,” an spokesman told AAP.

Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk told the party faithful she was “very hopeful” of forming government.

Votes that were cast on Saturday, as well as pre-poll and postal votes, would continue to be counted on Sunday night and Monday morning.

The official deadline for postal votes is 10 days after the election, but the wait for a victor is unlikely to drag out that long.

If Labor claims victory, it will be an extraordinary comeback after the party was written off three years ago.

The decimated LNP has already lost its leader, Campbell Newman, who announced his retirement from politics on Saturday night when he was ousted from his Ashgrove electorate.