Incumbent Burdekin MP Dale Last.
Incumbent Burdekin MP Dale Last.

Incumbent MP widens margin in race for Burdekin

DESPITE forging ahead on the polls, the incumbent Burdekin MP is yet to officially declare his victory at the state election.

As of noon on Monday, LNP's Dale Last had charged ahead in the election race, with 41.98 per cent of the first preference vote.

With just over 67 per cent of the vote counted, Labor candidate Mike Brunker had secured 30.97 per cent while KAP candidate Sam Cox sat on 14.09 per cent.

However, despite Mr Brunker admitting it was "quite obvious" Mr Last had secured the victory, both candidates were hesitant to officially announce their standing.

"I am extremely humbled by the support that the people of the Burdekin electorate have shown and my commitment to them is that my fight for them will continue for the next four years," Mr Last said.

"Regardless of the outcome, there is a huge team of people who give so much of their time and energy during an election campaign and, regardless of what side of politics they are from, their contribution is something they should be extremely proud of."

Mr Last said while running in an election was "never easy", the race for the Burdekin took place in the "right spirit" and congratulated the other candidates on their work.

Incumbent Burdekin MP Dale Last has not officially declared a victory despite tearing ahead in the polls. Picture: Evan Morgan
Incumbent Burdekin MP Dale Last has not officially declared a victory despite tearing ahead in the polls. Picture: Evan Morgan

"Whilst the statewide result is not what I hope for, my job now is to hold the government to account and to fight tooth and nail to ensure the Burdekin electorate gets its fair share.

"I will also be advocating strongly for the government to adopt the commitments I took to the election because each and every one of them was based on feedback from the community.

"We live in a representative democracy and the electorate has shown what is important to them from both a project and a policy point of view and, if the government really intends to govern for all Queenslanders, they will honour the choice of the voters."

Despite trailing by more than 2500 votes, Mr Brunker said he would not concede defeat until the result was officially announced by the Electoral Commission Queensland.

"It's all up to the Electoral Commission … they pay them to do that," he said.

Labor candidate for Burdekin Mike Brunker with Bowen resident Bruce Bradshaw. Mr Brunker said he would not concede defeat until the result was announced by the ECQ. Picture: Supplied
Labor candidate for Burdekin Mike Brunker with Bowen resident Bruce Bradshaw. Mr Brunker said he would not concede defeat until the result was announced by the ECQ. Picture: Supplied

"It's quite obvious that he's going to win.

"It's a total flip side to what the last election was."

In the 2017 state election, Mr Brunker secured a higher primary vote but lost the seat to Mr Last because of preferencing.

Mr Brunker said he was "up against it" with five conservative candidates also vying for the seat.

"Katter portrays to be an alternative workers party but clearly he's not, he's delivered Dale a win," he said.

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"Unfortunately, now we have another four years of missed opportunities in the seat of not having someone in parliament.

"Our volunteers put in a lot of good yards but unfortunately it looks like we might fall short."

Mr Brunker said he would return to his seat on Whitsunday Regional Council when the election result was declared.


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