Nervous wait as ALP closes gap on Powell
ENVIRONMENT Minister Andrew Powell managed to retain his seat, despite going through a monumental scare, as the LNP felt the pinch in what is considered territory secure as Fort Knox.
ALP candidate Brent Hampstead, despite giving away plenty in the primary votes, pushed Mr Powell in the two-party preferred votes, with the gap closing to less than three per cent as of about 9.30pm last night.
With almost 64% of the votes counted, Mr Powell was unwilling to comment on the ever-tightening race, although an ecstatic Mr Hampstead expressed his joy at the ALP push.
"I'm absolutely stoked," Mr Hampstead said last night as he watched the votes roll in.
"Our genuine objective was to try and better our 2009 position.
"We never projected a win; we just wanted to focus on putting forward the best campaign we could."
Did you expect such a massive statewide swing against the LNP?
This poll ended on 01 February 2016.
No. I thought things would stay roughly the same.
No. I thought they'd lose seats but nothing like this.
Yes. There was always going to be a correction.
Yes. The LNP had to go.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Despite what loomed as a dire day for the Newman Government, Mr Powell was expected to maintain his seat, despite the close call.
"We'll take a significant chunk out of Powell's margin," Mr Hampstead had predicted earlier yesterday.
"The Sunshine Coast Six (sitting LNP members) have been too comfortable for too long."
The Greens' candidate Dave Knobel said he'd experienced a strong change in attitudes at the booths yesterday, as voters shifted away from the major parties.
"We're feeling good, I think there's definitely a shift in the electorate," Mr Knobel said.
After 63.68% of votes counted:
Primary votes: Brent Hampstead (ALP): 30.21%, Scott Higgins (PUP): 11.26%, David Knobel (GRN): 14.98%, Andrew Powell (LNP): 43.54%
Two-Party Preferred: Brent Hampstead (ALP): 48.4% trailed Andrew Powell (LNP): 51.6%