The South­ern Downs might not be the LNP bell­wether it once was:

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Sean Teuma

WHILE it was widely ex­pected the Lib­eral Na­tional Party would re­tain the seat of the South­ern Downs in the state elec­tion, op­po­si­tion can­di­dates are buoyed at hav­ing re­duced its mar­gin.

The re­sult is in stark con­trast to the 2015 elec­tion, when out­go­ing mem­ber Lawrence Spring­borg won 62.79 per cent of the vote.

It also raises the ques­tion whether the South­ern

Downs will re­main a safe seat for the LNP in fu­ture years.

As count­ing con­tin­ues, the LNP’s James Lis­ter held

41.38 per cent of the vote, fol­lowed by One Na­tion’s Josh Coyne with 20.14 per cent.

A closer look at the booth break­down shows a strong surge in pop­u­lar­ity for One Na­tion in places like Texas, where Coyne polled high­est, and Millmer­ran and In­gle­wood where One Na­tion trailed the LNP by just 13 votes.

ALP can­di­date Joel Richters put in a stel­lar ef­fort, de­spite only be­ing drafted two weeks be­fore elec­tion day.

Richters polled sec­ond high­est in Stan­thorpe be­hind the LNP and says he’s keep­ing an eye on the fu­ture.

“We’ve been able to fight off One Na­tion for sec­ond on the list when it comes down to two-party pre­ferred,” he said.

“With votes still com­ing in, cur­rently it looks like a 6.2 per cent swing to La­bor, which is go­ing against the trend in re­gional seats. This is fan­tas­tic ground­ing to work on for the next state elec­tion.

“I would’ve liked rep­re­sen­ta­tion, but La­bor will still be able to show they have the pas­sion and skills to de­liver what the South­ern Downs de­serves.”

PHOTO: SEAN TEUMA

One Na­tion’s Josh Coyne, in­de­pen­dent Rob Macken­zie, The Greens’ An­to­nia van Ge­uns and La­bor’s Joel Richters lost out to the LNP.

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