Country voters the key

VOTERS in the Flynn electorate played a big role in the downturn of Labor in Queensland, with country voters being the determining factor.

Elected member for Flynn and National Party member Ken O'Dowd outstripped former member and Labor Party man Chris Trevor at a number of country towns, including Gayndah, Biggenden, Biloela, Capella, Emerald, Miriam Vale, Monto, Mundubbera, Springsure, Thangool and Wondai.

It was a pattern seen in Queensland, with the Liberal National Party winning marginal seats in Dawson (George Christensen), Herbert (Ewen Jones) and Leichhardt (Warren Entsch).

There were four seats in Australia yet to be determined as The Observer went to print yesterday, with reports suggesting Australia could have a hung parliament for the first time in 60 years.

A record number of pre-poll and thousands of postal votes have yet to be counted, meaning a final result may not be known until the end of next week.

Mr O'Dowd was declared winner not even two hours after polls closed, just after 7.30pm on Saturday.

With 72.98 per cent of votes counted, Mr O'Dowd received 45.38 per cent of the first preference vote compared to Mr Trevor's 42.15 per cent.

In the two-party preferred tally, Mr O'Dowd received 51.51 per cent of the vote compared to Mr Trevor's 48.49 per cent – a 3.75 per cent swing.

The declaration was made after 63.89 per cent of the first preference votes were counted.

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