Queensland Labor staring at big election losses

Exit polling suggests all of party’s sitting MPs may be unseated in Kevin Rudd’s home state

Exit polling is showing Labor could lose all of its eight Queensland seats in Saturday’s Australian election – demonstrating that the “Kevin Rudd factor” counted for very little in his home state.

Sky News polling showed Labor seats going to the Coalition including Oxley (where Labor’s 2010 margin of victory was 5.8 percentage points), Rankin (5.4), Blair (4.2), Capricornia (3.7), Petrie (2.5) and Moreton (1.1).

Rudd’s star recruit, the former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, appears unlikely to win the seat of Forde from the Liberal incumbent, Bert Van Manen.

The prime minister’s seat of Griffith and former treasurer Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley are too close to call, according to Sky polling.

Beattie, who moved into the electorate on the morning of the announcement of his candidature, blamed the leadership troubles of the Labor government. Julia Gillard replaced Rudd in 2010 and Rudd replace Gillard in July this year.

“This result is based on one overriding thing,” said Beattie, less than an hour after the polls closed. “The only negative was the leadership thing that took place over the last six years.

“That is the core issue. I talked to people on the ground; that overriding thing was the main concern.

“The Liberals put a photo of Julia and Kevin with one word: remember. So you can talk about all sorts of things but that is the main issue.”

Part of the logic of Rudd’s return to the prime ministership was that he would bring in more seats in his home state of Queensland and pick up extra seats in western Sydney. After an initial surge in the polls Australian voters appear to have deserted Rudd.

Clive Palmer of the Palmer United party was still confident the former NRL player Glenn Lazarus would win the sixth Senate spot in Queensland.

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