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Adani, Palmer, 'Death Taxes': What The Hell Happened In Queensland?

Labor experienced a stunning wipe-out in Queensland, and there's already calls for the state to secede.

Marginal seats where Labor expected to at least have a crack -- like Dawson, Flynn, Capriconia, Forde and Petrie -- are looking to be retained by the Coalition.

"This is the sweetest victory of all," Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said on election night, after holding on to his seat of Dickson with a swing of almost two percent.

peter dutton
Peter Dutton thanks supporters in Strathpine. Photo: AAP.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison -- who will definitely be forming government, despite still being two seats short of a majority -- used a favourite phrase to describe the state's crucial part in his win.

"How good's Queensland?" he told a room of party faithful in NSW, who chanted the state's name back at him.

For Labor supporters, confident of victory, it was a devastating about-turn, with many people on social media calling for a "Qu-exit".

As Labor grapples with defeat, the question being asked on Sunday is: how? And why?

What happened in Queensland?

In his victory night speech, Dutton offered his explanation: that people in his electorate were turned off by hard campaigning from GetUp, which has sought to oust him.

He also said he'd sensed anger against Labor due to proposed tax changes.

"People really had their baseball bats out for Bill Shorten," Dutton said.

READ MORE: Here's Who Could Replace Bill Shorten As Labor Leader

READ MORE: Fraser Anning And Clive Palmer Won't Win A Senate Seat

Labor figures are pointing to Clive Palmer's election blitz, which saw him spend an estimated $60 million. Although it failed to pick him up even a single seat, Palmer's anti-Labor ads in Queensland are being credited in partly delivering a stunning LNP victory.

A billboard featuring Australian businessman and former politician, Clive Palmer. Photo: AAP.

"The Palmer ads, I think did hurt us a great deal," Labor's Tanya Plibersek told the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday morning.

"I think those preferences from [Palmer's United Australia Party] and One Nation have made a big impact, particularly in Queensland."

tanya plibersek insiders
Tanya Plibersek speaks to Insiders on Sunday morning. Photo: ABC.

Senator Penny Wong agreed.

"Mr Palmer's relentless advertising, which essentially set a pox on everybody, is much more difficult for a party like ours," she said.

Even Palmer himself took credit for the LNP's win, telling The Sunday Mail in a statement that "our shifty Shorten [ads] around the country were successful in suppressing Labor primary vote".

There is also no doubt that concerns over Labor's plans for franking credits played an enormous part. Labor officials said over 65s were responsible for big swings against the ALP, with franking credits being the key issue.

READ MORE: Fraser Anning And Clive Palmer Won't Win A Senate Seat

But a major election-winner was the Adani mine. The ABC's vote compass tool found support for the mine was strongest closest to the mine site. Although 61 percent of Australians nationwide were against it being built, almost half of rural Queenslanders are all for it.

Thousands marched against Adani in Brisbane on April 22 -- and yet, rural Queenslanders were largely in favour of the project going ahead. Photo: AAP.

The state opposition is already claiming Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's failure to speed up approval of the mine cost the party in the federal election; the Morrison government gave it the final tick of approval before going in to caretaker mode, leaving it in the hands of the state government.

"This election result for the LNP in Queensland is a direct result of the fact that Annastacia Palaszczuk is anti-regions, anti-resources and anti-jobs," LNP leader Deb Frecklington said on Sunday.

READ MORE: Labor Will Do What It Does Best -- Blow Itself Up

As former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari wrote for 10 daily: the Labor party will be doing some serious soul-searching as it comes to terms with losing the "un-loseable election".

"All polices will be re-examined," Dastyari wrote.

"Everything will be rethought."

Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol. 

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