Seat in focus: Fairfax


Clive Palmer’s push to take the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax off the Liberal National Party looked like it had been successful on election night, but a very poor performance on special votes has Palmer’s lead falling so fast that it is likely to reach zero before the counting finishes.

Click here to read my pre-election profile of Fairfax.

As of last night, Palmer was leading by 507 votes in Fairfax.

Vote typePUP %LNP %To be countedProjected diff.
Absent57.5942.412,266PUP +344
Pre-Poll43.2856.722,268LNP +304
Postal37.6762.332,227LNP +549

Clive Palmer is performing extremely badly on postal votes. Over 2000 more postal votes are expected, and if they break as badly as those postal votes already counted, the LNP will gain enough votes to take the lead.

Palmer should gain some votes from the 2266 absentee votes, but he is also losing in pre-poll votes, which should cancel that out.

Overall, these figures ad up to a net gain of 509 votes for the LNP, which turns Fairfax into almost a dead heat.

These figures project an LNP win by seven votes. If the result is that close, expect court challenges and a complete recount. A win by a few hundred votes by either Ted O’Brien or Clive Palmer is also still a possibility.

As with every other seat, I’ll now focus on the geographic breakdown of the vote. I have broken the electorate into the same four subdivisions as before the election: Nambour, North-East, South-East and West.

Voter GroupGRN %ALP %PUP 2CPTotal votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes7.2417.8445.8932,845

Clive Palmer won a majority in three out of four areas, ranging from 54.5% in the north-east (covering Coolum Beach) to 57.5% in the Nambour area. The LNP won a narrow majority in the south-east, which covers Buderim and Maroochydore, and is the largest part of the ordinary vote.

Clive Palmer is losing the ‘other votes’ badly, mainly due to a poor performance on postal and pre-poll votes. If election day votes were the only ones counted, Palmer would win easily.

After the fold is a map of the electorate, and a break-out map of the south-east of the electorate.

Two-candidate-preferred votes in Fairfax at the 2013 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Fairfax at the 2013 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax, including Buderim and Maroochydore, at the 2013 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax, including Buderim and Maroochydore, at the 2013 federal election.
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  1. Ben: “On my estimate, the LNP would win by seven votes, which would likely result in stretched out legal fights over who wins the seat. It’s also possible that late counting could result in either side winning by over 100 votes.”

    Imagine the prolonged litigation if the LNP wins by 7 votes!

    Palmers lead has dropped from last nights 507 to only 209 today.

  2. PUP’s problem is too much managerial input and not enough administration.

    Anyone with Palmer’s personal experience should have known that managers can not be relied on to get their hands dirty.

  3. It would be nice if all MPs and potential recognised that they should represent everyone in their electorate, regardless of whether the elector voted for them or another candidate. It would also be nice if they also recognised that AEC officials are doing a stressful job and bullying and threatening to fight the election in the courts is not conducive to good results.

  4. It seems you should take into account the 4% informal vote for postal votes, which reduces the difference by about 22 votes.

    Also, it seems like the later postal votes will be more in favor of Clive Palmer, and should see him over the line.

    In most things, I dont know what I am talking about, and would appreciate being corrected!

  5. He was on track to fall behind by about 140 votes but the postals latest batch was less bad, now the projection has him winning by 11 votes. It’s far too close to call.

  6. I’m not so sure. Hardly any postals left, and prepoll and absentee votes should cancel each other out. I have Palmer winning by 11 votes. This is a projection, not a prediction, and will change, but suggests that his vote-decline will pretty much stop right on the border.

  7. What’s the bet this is the catalyst for Palmer to walk away from his party. Citing conspiracy theories all the way to the exit door. Leaving a whole party in his wake as he picks up his stumps and goes home. But first he will trash the good name the party has earned, by suing all perceived conspiratorial wrongdoers, and casting dispersions on people he has never met. I hope I am wrong, and that the man has more mettle than I give credit for.

  8. Reluctantly, I hope the buffoon wins – in the Reps, he can’t really achieve anything OR do any real harm. But – just imagine the entertainment value !

    Pity about his constituents though – denied a serious voice.
    On so many issues, how could he avoid a conflict of interest ?
    In any case, my tip would be a by-election after a few months during which he would be bored shitless.

    His lackey(s) in the Senate though ? ….. now THAT has real potential for strife.

  9. Win or lose, it’s only a matter of time before he gets bored. I’ll bet he understands the party will collapse when natural Labor voters go back to Labor next time around.

  10. The latest figures have O’Brien in the lead by 18.
    So the net result for PUP may be only 1 senator(Lazarus).Will he do as he is told by Clive?Perhaps for a while,but not indefinitely.

  11. An update at 12:30 today has Palmer leading by 111 votes, with 415 early votes and 155 postals still to be processed. O’Brien needs at least 60% of those remaining votes to overhaul Palmer.

  12. If Palmer gets elected, what’s the bet that he’ll leave Parliament with a record for warnings received from the Speaker of the House or even a record for the most evictions from the Chamber? He sounds too much like he’s going to be the Chamber’s “clown”.

  13. I was wondering why this is taking so so long….
    “The 49 per cent of votes sent to Brisbane compares to 0.64 per cent of votes that were sent to the AEO in the recount of the Victorian seat of McEwen after the 2007 federal election.
    On Monday, Mr Palmer, who has been an outspoken critic of the electoral system, had a lead of 52 votes over Mr O’Brien, with 23 of 46 polling places finalised.”

    Read more:

  14. Question time will be more interesting now…. and i do recall DB saying that “his” reports showed Ted O’Brien would win on the recount….

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