VOTING: Voters had their say at the polls yesterday at PCYC Airlie Beach. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.
VOTING: Voters had their say at the polls yesterday at PCYC Airlie Beach. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times. Inge Hansen

Candidates reflect on campaign

WITH incumbent MP George Christensen likely to retain the seat of Dawson for the LNP, the other six candidates have shown good spirit following last night's results.

ALP candidate Frank Gilbert phoned Mr Christensen late last night to concede defeat and congratulate his opponent on his win.

Mr Gilbert said this morning he had brought the votes closer for Labor to win in the future.

"I think Labor will be very keen to contest the Dawson seat in the future and I believe it's a seat that will eventually be won by the Labor party," he said.

"We were always the underdog here and when people at the beginning of the campaign said that we had no chance, I didn't believe that.

"While it's always disappointing not be a winner, it's gratifying to think that we've made progress towards winning the seat of Dawson (eventually)."

ALP: Frank Gilbert. Photo contributed.
ALP: Frank Gilbert. Photo contributed. Contributed

With federal election results still being determined, the final decision on overall government is unlikely to be made for another week and there is a strong possibility of a hung parliament.

Mr Christensen said it was now a "waiting game" to find out which major party would form government, determining whether or not he would be an opposition MP.

"It's a terrible situation to be honest," he said.

"The last thing we needed was the instability and lack of confidence with a near hung parliament and it's the last thing local businesses wanted.

"Now we have to wait the better part of a week and maybe even more to find out who is going to form parliament."

LIBERAL: George Christensen. Photo: Contributed
LIBERAL: George Christensen. Photo: Contributed Contributed

Meanwhile, figures from the Australian Electoral Commission show the Greens scoring just 5% of the Dawson vote, despite a strong and locally focused Fight for the Reef campaign.

Nonetheless Greens candidate Jonathan Dykyj said he ran a "solid campaign".

"The Greens and myself have had a consistent message," he said.

"Even though the issues we raised may not have translated into votes this time, as long as it's putting different ideas and introducing alternate policy platforms and making people think outside the square, we've done something."

GREENS: Jonathan Dykyj. Photo contributed.
GREENS: Jonathan Dykyj. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Conversely KAP candidate Ashley Dodd took 6.19% of the Dawson vote and said he was thrilled with the result.

"We were really happy that we came in third and almost touched the 5000 mark," he said.

"Now that it's over, we can start working towards the state election." Mr Dodd also said he hoped to see more Australians participate in politics.

"I believe it's everyone's obligation and duty to participate in the political system," he said.

"That way everyone gets their say."

STANDING: Katter's Australian Party candidate Ashley Dodd. Photo contributed.
STANDING: Katter's Australian Party candidate Ashley Dodd. Photo contributed. Contributed.

For independent candidate, Steven Large, who drew 4.65% of the vote, as much time as possible was invested into the campaign, into the campaign, which wasn't a "waste of time".

"I had my own ideas to put forward and I believe we got approximately the same percentage as the Greens so it hasn't worked out too bad," he said.

"It was definitely worth the experience of running."

STANDING: Steven 'Fred' Large. Photo contributed.
STANDING: Steven 'Fred' Large. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Although Glenn Lazarus Team (GLT) candidate, Michael Hall didn't receive the result he wanted at 4.5%, he's "not going away" just yet.

"We had disappointing results but I value the opportunity that I had and I value the fact that I got to meet a lot of people and listen to a lot people," he said.

"It's made me more determined and I know I'll continue to try and fight."

STANDING: Glenn Lazaru Team candidate for Dawson Michael Hall. Photo contributed.
STANDING: Glenn Lazaru Team candidate for Dawson Michael Hall. Photo contributed. Contributed.

Family First candidate Amanda Nickson is still in Thailand with her family and was unable to be contacted for comment.

She had the lowest result of the seven candidates with 3.7% of the vote.

Ms Nickson has not made any new posts to Facebook.

Family First candidate for Dawson Amanda Nickson. Photo contributed.
Family First candidate for Dawson Amanda Nickson. Photo contributed. Contributed.

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