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Beattie Survives By-Elections; Liberals Under Pressure

Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie’s hold on government has been strengthened following the ALP’s victories in two by-elections on the weekend.

In Bundamba, held by Labor by 6.5%, there was a swing of nearly 8% to the Labor candidate, Jo-Ann Miller.

In Woodridge, where a 13.5% swing was required to defeat Labor, the former State ALP Secretary, Mike Kaiser has won the seat with over 50% of the primary vote, minimising the swing against the government to around 1%.

The Liberal Party is now under pressure following its dismal showing in the by-elections. The Liberal candidate in Bundamba polled only 8.8% of the vote.

Meanwhile, in Victoria a by-election looms in Benalla, the seat held by former National Party leader, Pat McNamara. According to a report in The Age on the weekend, Dr. Bill Sykes has been drafted by the National Party as its candidate in Benalla. He will most likely be opposed by independent Bill Hill and the ALP’s Denise Allen.

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