The Greens have won the federal seat of Brisbane, snatching the Queensland electorate from the Liberals and gaining a fourth spot in the House of Representatives.
Greens candidate Stephen Bates took the seat over Labor’s Madonna Jarrett after a close race and a tense week of vote counting for the electorate, which covers the city of Brisbane.
The Greens have won three seats in Queensland after also claiming Ryan and Griffith. Party leader Adam Bandt holds the seat of Melbourne in Victoria.
Mr Bates says he intends to be a strong advocate for his community after many locals said they did not feel represented in Canberra.
“From the conversations we’ve had with people across Brisbane for the last 12 months, the mood has been people were angry,” Mr Bates said while declaring victory on Saturday.
“People were fed up with the status quo, and people were fed up with the complete inaction on climate change.”
Greens candidates (left to right) Max Chandler-Mather, Elizabeth Watson-Brown , Stephen Bates, Senate candidate Penny Allman-Payne and Senator Larissa Waters. Photo: AAP
Mr Bates said new Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would have to work with the parliament that was given to him.
“Even if Labor does form a majority in the House, we will still be in the balance of power in the Senate,” he said.
“That gives us such a great opportunity to actually work with the Labor government to go further and go better on policies that we know will benefit the people in this country.”
Ms Jarrett said she had called to congratulate Mr Bates.
“Although counting is still ongoing, it is clear that we won’t get across the line here in Brisbane,” she wrote on Facebook.
“While I am disappointed I could not be prouder of the campaign we have run here in Brisbane over the past 12 months.”
Outgoing Liberal MP Trevor Evans conceded defeat last Saturday as despite leading the three-candidate preferred count, he was unlikely to retain his seat due to preferences.
Greens leader Adam Bandt declared “the greenslide continues” in a statement on Saturday.
“Stephen’s fantastic win means the Liberals’ defeat is even more profound,” he said.
“We’re the most powerful third party in the parliament and we’re ready to fight for action on climate and inequality.”
Meanwhile Mr Albanese remains confident Labor will take Parliament House with a 76-seat majority.
Mr Albanese dubbed the election an “outstanding result” for Labor as he welcomed MP-elect for Bennelong, Jerome Laxale, to the party fold.
“We have increased our representation in parliament substantially,” Mr Albanese said on Saturday.
Jerome Laxale is the latest Labor MP to join the fold. Photo: AAP
Labor so far has secured 75 seats, one shy of a majority and the same number the previous coalition government had.
Both major parties have seen a record low primary vote, something Mr Albanese partly attributed to people in blue ribbon seats voting for independent candidates over Labor.
“We have a preferential system, people understand it and some of this analysis is rather strange,” Mr Albanese said.
Mr Albanese also vowed to stay in touch with “real people” by continuing to participate in community life as much as possible.
“I want to keep it real,” he said.
The prime minister pointed to his morning at Marrickville Tennis Club where he was “just Albo at the tennis club”.
Labor is on a knife-edge in a handful of seats: Deakin and Macnamara in Victoria and Gilmore in NSW.
Liberal MP Michael Sukkar is 655 votes ahead Labor’s candidate Matt Gregg in Deakin which has recorded a roughly 4 per cent swing to Labor.
Liberal candidate Andrew Constance is 214 votes ahead of sitting Labor MP Fiona Phillips in the NSW electorate of Gilmore, with postal votes slightly favouring Mr Constance.
The Australian Electoral Commission on Friday released new data showing an unusual three-candidate preferred status Macnamara in Victoria, which still remains in doubt.
In Macnamara, incumbent Labor MP Josh Burns has taken a slight lead over his Greens rival Steph Hodgins-May with Liberal candidate Colleen Harkin trailing.
Back in Bennelong, Mr Laxale pipped the Liberal candidate Simon Kennedy in former prime minister John Howard’s seat.
“We knew it would be very difficult for Labor to win in Bennelong, we put up a really good challenge here,” Mr Laxale said.
“Winning Bennelong means we’re that much closer to majority government.