Labor is increasingly confident of retaining two of the three cliffhanger seats – Richmond in northern New South Wales, Lyon in Tasmania and Macnamara in Melbourne.
The Liberals remain ahead in Gilmore on the NSW south coast and in Deakin, where former minister Michael Sukkar is clinging.
The euphoria of the Greens claiming three seats in central Brisbane in Saturday’s election was dampened by the updated tally showing Labor taking the lead in Brisbane.
Labor candidate Madonna Jarrett now has a slim 34-vote lead over Greens candidate Stephen Bates, who led by 342 votes on Sunday afternoon, which was then reduced to 158 votes on Sunday evening.
With Ms Jarrett capturing a larger share of mail-in votes during the count, Labor campaign insiders believe Labor will win the seat.
It would help Labor save face from the loss of high-profile Terri Butler, who lost her Griffith seat in South Brisbane after a strong grassroots community campaign led by Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather.
The Greens also beat Liberal National Party MP Julian Simmonds in Ryan’s former Blue Ribbon seat in the western suburbs of Brisbane.
If Labor wins Brisbane, it will retain its electoral status quo in Queensland, with six of the 30 federal seats.
A slide to five seats will only put more pressure for an internal party review into why Labor hasn’t done better in the Sunshine State despite so much time and effort by the Labor leader. Anthony Albanese and his ministers to win back voters after the disastrous 2019 election.
Labor still does not hold a seat in the lower house north of Brisbane.
Labor campaigners point to shrinking seat margins in key seats in Central and North Queensland, saying it will leave them a ‘striking distance’ in the 2025 election.
The Greens have also been encouraged by securing a new senate seat in Queensland, with Penny Allman-Payne from the industrial town of Gladstone to join Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters in the upper house.
One Nation founder Pauline Hanson remains the favorite to land Queensland’s sixth and final Senate seat, finishing ahead of mining billionaire Clive Palmer.
Labor and the Coalition have already secured two Senate seats, with LNP Senator Amanda Stoker the biggest casualty after failing to clinch a tough third spot on the party ticket.