Political bloodbath: Bligh out, Newman in

Queenslanders reduced Labor to minor party status at the weekend in the biggest political rout in recent history.

While the count is yet to be finalised, former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman looks to have reduced Labor to only 7 out of 81 seats at the state election.

Labor’s best Queensland parliamentary performer, Andrew Fraser – touted as the party’s next leader – lost his seat in the wipeout.

Federal Labor MP Shayne Neumann, who holds the seat of Blair, rejected suggestions of a relationship between state Labor’s wipeout on Saturday and the 2013 federal poll.

“People understood we tried to get an emissions trading scheme through parliament and that we wanted to take action on climate change,” Neumann told ABC Radio today.

“People understand the rigours and difficulties of minority government.” He said there was “there’s no real parallel” between Bligh and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s policy decisions.

But former Queensland Labor premier Peter Beattie told ABC’s Insiders Labor must reform and learn from the disaster to avoid a similar federal defeat. Recent polls indicate the only Labor MP to hold their seat, if a federal election was to be held this year, would be Kevin Rudd – a loss of twenty seats.

“Labor will lose federal government in Queensland alone,” Beattie said.

Former premier Anna Bligh, who announced she was quitting politics yesterday, says she believed Queenslanders voted mainly on state issues.

“But … there is a message in this result for Labor generally and Labor at all levels of government,” Bligh said.

Such a level of destruction last occurred in 1974, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen reduced Labor in Queensland to 11 seats.


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