BY-ELECTION: Counting resumes for Toowoomba South

Returning officer Peter O'Sullivan prepares to count postal votes from the Toowoomba South by-election, 2016.
Returning officer Peter O'Sullivan prepares to count postal votes from the Toowoomba South by-election, 2016.

UPDATE: Counting has resumed for the Toowoomba South by-election.

The Electoral Commission Queensland has just completed tallying the first batch of postal votes.

It will now proceed to a notional count this afternoon which will provide the two leading candidates a good indication of the flow of preferences.

After the conclusion of the notional count, the commission will continue to count the first preference votes of the remaining 1000 postal votes expected to be delivered early this week.

A spokesman for the commission said a full preference count may be delayed until 10 day after polling day when the final date for postal votes to be received had passed.

According to the latest figures LNP candidate David Janetzki is leading the count on 46.36% or 12,673 votes.

His nearest rival is Di Thorley on 35.1% or 9,597.

Pundits say many of the Family First voters likely gave their preferences to Mr Janetzki while Ms Thorley will do well from Greens voters.

It's unclear where the votes to Katter's Australia Party candidate Ken Elliott will flow.


  • David Janetzki (LNP) 12,673
  • Di Thorley (IND) 9,597
  • Alex Todd (FF) 1983
  • Ken Gover (GRN) 1459
  • Ken Elliott (KAP) 1153
  • Rob Berry (IND) 473

A commission spokesman said the body had counted the primary vote of 81.36% of the total roll of 34,715 electors.

Electoral Commissioner Mr Walter van der Merwe said: "This is one of the products of the new full preferential voting system, in that the commission must have to hand all ballots cast for the election prior to commencing a full preference count.

"Any outstanding ballots could affect the last placed candidate exclusion and therefore the flow of preferences."  

EARLIER: LNP insiders say the winner of the Toowoomba South by-election will be known by the close of business today.

The source told The Chronicle the Electoral Commission Queensland would start counting two-party preferred preference votes at 1pm today.

He said the winner would likely be known today.

LNP candidate David Janetzki is leading by more than 10% over his nearest rival independent candidate Di Thorley.


>> Family First 'happy' with Toowoomba by-election results

>> Katter candidate questions LNP's campaign costs

The preferences will decide who will win the election.

Earlier ECQ returning officer Peter O'Sullivan had said the counting wouldn't start until July 27 unless he was given a direction by the commission to start earlier. 

UPDATE: The result of the Toowoomba South by-election may not be known until July 27 unless the Electoral Commission Queensland intervenes.

The commission will start counting postal votes at 1pm this afternoon but won't start the all-important preference count until the deadline for the return of postal votes passes at 5pm on Tuesday, July 26.

Returning officer Peter O'Sullivan said it was standard practice to wait until all votes had been returned to start counting preferences.

"We won't start counting preferences until the 10th day, unless I get an order to do so in between that time," he said.

LNP candidate David Janetzki has a commanding lead over his nearest rival independent Di Thorley.

He said on Saturday he believed his party would retain the seat.

But he's yet to claim victory outright and said he would await the outcome of preference votes.

So despite having a 10% lead over Di Thorley we may not know the result for another seven days.

The commission won't declare a winner while two candidates have a mathematical chance of winning.

Mr Janetzki is thought to be meeting with LNP party officials in Brisbane today. 

Sources have told The Chronicle that pressure is being put on the ECQ to bring forward the start of preference counting. 

LATEST: The LNP's David Janetzki is confident of claiming victory in the Toowoomba South by-election but Di Thorley has not thrown in the towel.

Both candidates have said preferences will decide the election.

The latest figures from the Electoral Commission Queensland have Mr Janetzki on 46.36% and Ms Thorley on 35.1%.

LNP candidate David Janetzki said his party would likely retain the seat.

He thanked his supporters for turning out to vote despite rainy weather on Saturday.

"As the count currently stands, we are confident the LNP will retain the seat, but we won't know for sure until preferences are counted over the coming days," he said.

"Mel and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the support we've had throughout the campaign, and especially to the volunteers who didn't let the miserable weather deter them. I'll reach out when we have a certain result."

His main opponent Di Thorley has not thrown in the towel and also thanked her supporters.

She said the election was too close to call and would likely go down to preferences.

Alexandra Todd, representing the Family First which is closely aligned with the LNP, drew 7.25%.

Greens' candidate Ken Gover, who openly supported Ms Thorley, won 5.34%.

Katter's Australia Party's Ken Elliott received 4.22% of the vote and independent Rob Berry 1.63%.

The by-election was the first in Queensland to use a full preferential voting system which meant electors had to fill out all of the ballot paper.

That meant the parties' choice of preferences did not play as large of a role as in previous elections.

One candidate told The Chronicle the main influence the parties did have on preferences was in handing out how-to-vote cards.

Topics:  toowoomba toowoomba south toowoomba south by-election

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