Ken O’Dowd retains Flynn
KEN O’Dowd has retained the seat of Flynn for the Liberal National Party after a tight battle with Labor candidate Zac Beers, which resulted in a 5.7% swing to the ALP.
Mr Beers phoned Mr O’Dowd on Tuesday afternoon, 10 days after the election, to concede defeat and congratulate Mr O’Dowd on his win.
“Despite not being the result I’d ultimately hoped for, I hope this strong result for Labor will mean Central Queensland’s voice is heard when it comes to ensuring more funding for regional communities,” Mr Beers said in a statement.
“At the heart of my campaign was giving voice to the many issues confronting our region.
“After years of contributing so much to the national economy, Labor’s campaign in Flynn was all about making sure we started to get a fair go from Canberra.”
The majority of North Burnett residents voted for Mr O’Dowd, with 66% of the two party preferred vote going to Mr O’Dowd and 34% going to Mr Beers.
Mr O’Dowd said he looked forward to implementing projects such as the Gayndah water project.
“After the longest election campaign in Australia’s history and a lengthy, knife-edge ballot count in Flynn, the wait is finally over,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“Mr Beers contacted me (on Tuesday) afternoon to concede the seat and wished me luck for this term of office.
“A third term in federal parliament is no mean feat... I look forward to getting to work delivering for all the people of Flynn once again as part of a strong, stable Coalition Government.”
The largest swings to the Labor party occurred in the Gladstone part of the electorate.
With 6000 postal votes left to be counted, Mr Beers would need to win most of them to win the seat, though the trend has not been there in the postal votes.
Flynn residents could be in for a repeat contest in 2019, or whenever the next Federal Election is, as Mr Beers said he wanted to run again.
“This contest has fired me up more than ever to contribute to the future of Central Queensland which is why I will again seek to represent Labor at the next Federal Election,” he said.
Mr O’Dowd’s win in Flynn helped push the Coalition from minority government territory to a slim majority government, returning Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.
As of counting on Tuesday, Mr O’Dowd was ahead by 1326 votes, with 41,859 votes to Zac Beers’ 40,533 votes.
While Mr O’Dowd is ahead, there has been a 5.73% swing to Labor, though not the 6.5% needed to unseat Mr O’Dowd.
Mr O’Dowd is also ahead on first preference votes, receiving 30,500 votes compared to 27,859 for Zac Beers.
One Nation Candidate Phil Baker is coming third in first preference votes.
Ken O’Dowd: I look forward to getting to work delivering for all the people of Flynn once again as part of a strong, stable Coalition Government.
ALL SMILES: Ken O’Dowd has been elected for a third term representing Flynn.