Fight breaks out at Queensland polling booth as voters told to heed coronavirus social distancing

Two men have been filmed in a physical scuffle outside a polling booth in Ipswich.

A video was posted on Facebook by a woman named Paige May, who said it was taken at Redbank Plains.

The two men allegedly got into the altercation over coronavirus fears.

“Humans turning against each other from fear of the virus. Very upsetting,” Ms May wrote.

A spokesman from Queensland Police said no report had been made, but police were aware of the video.

Meanwhile the large number of postal votes may mean Queenslanders will wait longer than usual to find out who their council will be.

All 77 local government areas, as well as two seats in the Queensland parliament are up for grabs on Saturday.

More than half of voters had already cast their ballot before election day, as the fear of coronavirus overshadows the polls.

More than half a million postal votes were applied for in these elections, which could mean many results won’t be known by the end of Saturday.

Patrick Condren, Labor’s candidate for Brisbane Lord Mayor, said he was “prepared to wait until we get a definitive result”.

“Given the amount of postal votes that are out there, I think it’s going to be a couple of days before we get a definitive result,” he said.

For those who will cast their vote in person, the state’s electoral commission has asked they bring their own pen.

But there had been a low turnout at some polling booths, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said.

“Most of the polling booths that I’ve seen look very quiet, which means that there is ample opportunity for people to vote without getting into a crowd situation,” he added.

“There’s no real social interaction at those booths.”

Patience may also be required.

There are 200 booths across the city alone.

Limits on the number people allowed to gather indoors – because of the COVID-19 social distancing measures – means fewer people within a polling station at any one time, and potentially long queues.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young not only told voters to “get in and get out”, but also urged people to protect themselves from the sun.

Queenslanders in two state government electorates will also be voting in by- elections at Bundamba (Ipswich) and Currumbin (Gold Coast).

These polls will not change the government but will be watched closely as indicators for October’s general election.

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