The LNP’s second-in-command, Deb Frecklington, and one-time leader, John Paul Langbroek, are the early contenders to make a tilt for the Opposition Leader job, after Tim Nicholls stepped down in the wake of the Queensland election result.
If successful, Ms Frecklington would become the LNP’s first female leader, and has enlisted Tim Mander to run as her deputy.
“My nomination offers an opportunity for the LNP to take a fresh approach that will allow us to reconnect with our community — an opportunity to forge a party that draws strongly on the LNP’s traditional values combined with a good dose of down-to-earth, common-sense ideas that will drive Queensland forward,” she in a statement.
“Queenslanders have spoken and as a party we must listen, regroup and rebuild faith in the LNP as the only conservative party that can actually deliver for Queenslanders across the state.
“I want to recreate for my three daughters the Queensland I experienced when I was growing up, but also a state that’s geared up to tackle the challenges of the future.”
Meanwhile Mr Langbroek, the Opposition Leader between 2009 and 2011, tweeted that the LNP needed “someone who knows the rigours of leadership and with the experience to rebuild the trust with all Queenslanders”.
“I have the measured resolve to take on Labor,” he tweeted.
In her first press conference as Premier-elect, Annastacia Palaszczuk weighed into the debate and said Ms Frecklington would be the LNP’s best choice.
“If the LNP does not back Deb Frecklington I fear that the Nationals will break away from the LNP,” she said.
Broadwater MP David Crisafulli has ruled himself out of the leadership race.
“Flattered by encouraging words but now is the time for me to re-establish myself in Parliament and make a contribution to a strong opposition,” he tweeted.
A former minister who lost his seat in 2015, Mr Crisafulli moved to a much safer LNP seat on the Gold Coast in a move widely believed to be about improving his chances at a future leadership tilt.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said he was interested in the job of deputy leader but would like someone to nominate him.
He said the LNP “sales team” failed to win over the people of north Queensland.
“I know it’s not all about north Queensland but we need to reconnect with the north.
“If we haven’t hit rock bottom, we’re not far off it.”
Nicholls: ‘It’s time for a new generation’
This morning, Tim Nicholls conceded defeat in the Queensland election, nearly two weeks after voters went to the polls.
Mr Nicholls phoned Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday morning to congratulate her.
Mr Nicholls will not contest a leadership ballot when the LNP’s party room meets next week.
He said he was proud of the positive campaign the LNP ran.
“I take full responsibility for it,” he said.
“At the party room on Tuesday I will not seek to continue as LNP leader. It is time for a new generation of LNP leaders.
“I wished the Premier well for the future given the important role she now has to get on with building a better Queensland without delay.”
Mr Nicholls had refused to concede defeat in the week after the poll, even after it became all but impossible for him to form even a minority government.
Instead he held press conferences to keep pressure on the Premier not to break a promise about doing deals with crossbenchers.
Labor is set to win 48 seats, a slim two-seat majority in Queensland’s expanded 93 seat parliament.
The LNP is projected to win 39 seats.
Mr Nicholls took over the LNP leadership in 2016 from Lawrence Springborg.
He was Treasurer in the Newman government where he was tasked with selling the public on its controversial asset sales policy.