Clive Palmer, candidate for the Queensland seat of Fairfax. Picture by Paul Harris. Photo: Paul Harris
The Liberal National Party candidate Ted O’Brien says it’s only halftime in the contest for the Queensland seat of Fairfax.
Mining giant Clive Palmer narrowly won the seat of Fairfax by just 36 votes at the end of the first count on Saturday, one of the tightest results in political history.
With the margin of votes less than 100, however, the Australian Electoral Commission will begin a recount this week.
Mr O’Brien held 41.35 per cent of the primary vote, compared to Mr Palmer’s 26.47 per cent, but preference flows from supporters of Labor and the Greens helped put the Palmer United Party founder back in the lead.
But the LNP candidate said on Sunday the game was not yet over.
‘‘We’re just at halftime right now, we’re taking a breather. The first count has been done, a recount is going to commence, most likely next week,’’ he told ABC News.
‘‘And so at halftime the scoreboard says we’re 36 points behind, let’s wait until the final whistle is blown.’’
Mr Palmer has complained about ‘‘irregularities’’ in the count and threatened to use his Queensland senator-elect, Glenn Lazarus, to block Tony Abbott’s bills in the upper house unless electoral reforms were offered.
Mr O’Brien, would not be drawn on the businessman’s comments on Sunday.
‘‘Clive Palmer says enough for people to make their own judgments without needing any commentary from me,’’ he said.
Mr Palmer is overseas and on Thursday tweeted that he had been having tests of a "Titanic II" model conducted at a facility in Germany.
Mr Palmer spent $1.9 million on advertising in August, according to analysis from the ABC, ranking third in national spending on the campaign.
Retiring LNP member Alex Somlyay had held the Sunshine Coast-based seat since 1990.
- with Bianca Hall and AAP