Greens celebrate ‘shifting tectonic plates’ in Queensland politics as losing rival candidates go to ground

Queensland’s losing LNP and Labor candidates in three inner-city Brisbane seats have gone to ground, following a historic swing towards the Greens in the federal election.

The Greens have won the traditionally blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Ryan, putting them in a strong position to claim two more, with Max Chandler-Mather ahead in Griffith and Stephen Bates also in front in the seat of Brisbane.

A spokesperson for LNP’s Trevor Evans, who is coming to terms with an 11 per cent swing against him, said today was “not the right time to speak out”.

Defeated member Julian Simmonds has also declined media requests after losing his seat of Ryan, which has been held by the LNP for the most part of 70 years.

Labor’s former member for Griffith, Terri Butler, has also refused requests to speak to the media after conceding defeat online.

“I wish the new member well in delivering on all of the promises he has made,” she said in a social media post.

A Queensland ‘greenslide’

The Australian Greens team in Brisbane after a historic “greenslide”.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

Speaking in Queensland on Sunday afternoon, Greens leader Adam Bandt thanked the Queenslanders who were first-time Greens voters.

“A record number of people voted Greens for the first time in this election. I want to say thank you to everyone who voted for the Greens for the first time, especially here in Queensland,” he said.

Likely to win a seat in the Senate, Greens’ Queensland candidate Penny Allman-Payne said while she was “incredibly proud and excited” by the result, she was not surprised.

“I am so excited that Queenslanders have chosen to send a regional teacher from Gladstone to the Senate,” she said.

“We’ve been campaigning for over 12 months right around the state and everywhere we’ve gone people have told us they can’t find a house to rent … they can’t get the dental treatment that they need.

Elizabeth Watson-Brown with other Greens state MPs and Brisbane councilor, all clapping a happy on stage
Elizabeth Watson-Brown, who has won Ryan’s seat, says the result marks the beginning of “real change in Australia”. (ABC News: Jessica van Vonderen)

“It doesn’t matter where they live. People are experiencing the same thing.

“I live in a coal and gas community. People in central Queensland want a just transition to a renewable energy economy and we are the only party with a plan to do that.”

Brisbane a ‘microcosm of progressivism’

Greens candidate Elizabeth Watson-Brown, who has gained Ryan’s seat, said it was the beginning of “real change in Australia”.

“Many people came up to me at pre-poll and said to me, ‘Elizabeth, I am going to vote for you this time. I had been a long-term Liberal voter and I feel completely abandoned’.”

Composite of Greens candidates Stephen Bates in Brisbane, Max Chandler-Mather in Griffith, Elizabeth Watson-Brown in Ryan
Inner-Brisbane Greens candidates Stephen Bates in Brisbane, left, Max Chandler-Mather in Griffith, center, Elizabeth Watson-Brown in Ryan, right.(ABC News)

Candidate for Brisbane, Stephen Bates, said he was “cautiously optimistic” he would win the seat, describing the city as always being a “microcosm of progressivism”.

Re-elected Queensland Labor senator Murray Watt said the party state election results were a “mixed bag”.

Mr Watt said while there were some “bright spots” in Labor’s electoral results in Queensland, “we would probably have liked to have done better”.

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