Queensland has cemented itself as the Coalition's stronghold, helping bring Scott Morrison to victory and emphatically rejecting Bill Shorten's expansive policies for more government services.
The sunshine state appeared to have all but turned its back on Labor, with the Coalition set to hold key seats, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's, and pick up at least two new MPs in the state.
"There is an amazing mood across Queensland and across the country in support of the Prime Minister and I want to pay tribute to Scott Morrison tonight," Mr Dutton said.
Quoting former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, Mr Dutton told roaring supporters, "This is the sweetest victory of all."
The Coalition's strategy of concentrating its campaign heavily on the economy and tax, and relying largely on Mr Morrison to deliver the message, appeared to have paid off resoundingly in the north, where issues such as jobs and the Adani coal mine were seen as pivotal.
But what made the result all the more stunning was that the Coalition's strong showing happened not just in the far north but also the south-east around Brisbane, likely reflecting the popularity of Mr Morrison and concern about Labor's policies on franking credits and superannuation among older voters.
The Liberal National Party was on track to pick up the seats of Herbert and Longman. Labor immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann was on track to barely scrape through in Blair, while former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan's old seat of Lilley was also dangerously close for his successor Anika Wells.
Seats regarded as in play by Labor, such as Dawson, Flynn, Capricornia, Forde and Petrie, are all set to be easily retained by the LNP. Even maverick George Christensen, facing criticism for spending unusual amounts of time in the Philippines, enjoyed a massive swing in his seat of Dawson.
The result means Labor will hold at best five out of the 30 Queensland seats, next to the LNP's 24, with Bob Katter as an independent.
Coalition MPs previously on wafer-thin margins now have safe buffers for the next election.
A victory by Mr Dutton means he also has brushed off criticism of his hard-nosed political style and survived the fallout of last year's leadership brawl, when he brought on a challenge to the then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull only to lose to Mr Morrison.
Mr Dutton said earlier this month that he would continue to support Mr Morrison as leader, whether the Coalition won the election or not.
The Home Affairs Minister blasted what he said was ''aggressive'' campaigning and ''vicious personal attacks'' by the left-wing group GetUp, which he said had backfired and made people vote for him out of disgust - a claim denied by the group.
While the government has focused on the economy and tax, voters who backed Mr Dutton raised issues such as strong border security and social conservatism when they spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Saturday.
Lyndal Parfoot and her husband, Chris, who were voting at Cedar Creek Public Hall accompanied by their teenage sons, both cited ''family values'' in backing Mr Dutton.
''The Liberal Party is better aligned with our values,'' Mrs Parfoot said, although she also thought ''we are not generous enough towards refugees''.
Mr Parfoot said he was angry about the criticism of rugby player Israel Folau, which he said eroded religious freedom.
The couple believed Mr Dutton had been an attentive local member.
Ramesh Nandamuri, a general practitioner who grabbed a picture with Mr Dutton, praised his work on border security.
''A lot of Indians like us have gone through a lot of hoops to be here and we want to keep it that way, to be secure and safe, with people coming through proper channels,'' he said.
- SMH/The Age