Senior Liberal and former leadership contender Peter Dutton looks set to hold his Queensland seat, with early results appearing to put him comfortably in front of his Labor challenger.
Cheers were erupting from Mr Dutton's campaign office in outer northern Brisbane on Saturday night as results came in.
A victory by Mr Dutton would mean he 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 prime minister Malcolm Turnbull only to lose to Scott Morrison.
With 20 percent counted, Mr Dutton was ahead on a two party preferred basis 55 percent to Labor candidate Ali France's 45 percent. With the large portion of prepoll votes expected to lean towards the Home Affairs Minister, Mr Dutton appeared to be in a firm position.
The Liberal National Party was looking strong in other south-east Queensland seats in early counting.
On Saturday, Mr Dutton acknowledged a significant generational divide in his seat, saying young voters had leaned towards Labor because they are concerned about climate change and social issues.
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.
As he faced a knife-edge battle to hold onto his seat of Dickson on the outskirts of Brisbane, Mr Dutton said older voters were "waiting for Bill Shorten with baseball bats" but younger ones had been harder to win over.
"As people get younger, people are more concerned about climate change and social issues and perhaps don't have the experience of a Whitlam government and don't remember the Rudd-Gillard years. So it becomes more difficult and I think that's reflected in the polls as well," he said.
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.
Mr Dutton was defending the seat he has held, mostly narrowly, since 2001 against a challenge from Labor's Ms France. He was forced to apologise early in the campaign to Ms France after he suggested she had used her disability as an "excuse" not to move into the electorate.
His was one of a swag of close seats in Queensland, which also include Labor's Herbert and Longman, and Liberal National Party seats Forde, Petrie, Capricornia and Flynn.
Mr Dutton said earlier this month he would continue to support Mr Morrison as leader, whether the Coalition won the election or not.
Despite his own tough style, he accused Labor and particularly GetUp! - which has had more than 300 volunteers campaigning in the seat - of mud-slinging. He said he'd been stopped by "countless people" at voting booths who switched their support to him after being put off by "aggressive" GetUp! door-knockers.
Ms France said on Saturday her team had "run a really, really positive campaign".
GetUp's Ruby-Rose O'Halloran said volunteers had done "extraordinary work connecting with undecided voters" in the seat.
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, abortion and gender issues.
They 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.
Josh Hall, 38, voted Green but was happy for his preferences to go to Labor, saying they had run a brave campaign on big promises.
Supporters of Mr Dutton tended not to be fazed by his leadership strike against Malcolm Turnbull last year, arguing Labor had had its own problems.
- SMH/The Age