Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Will Labor's Ex-Gladstone Workers Come to the Fore? Postal Votes to Decide Who Wins Flynn

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Will Labor's Ex-Gladstone Workers Come to the Fore? Postal Votes to Decide Who Wins Flynn

Article excerpt

Byline: Campbell Gellie campbell.gellie@apn.com.au

IT WAS pegged as a safe Liberal National Party seat with a 6.5% margin and more than once throughout Election Day the ABC, WIN and Channel 7 called the seat of Flynn as a Liberal National Party victory for Ken O'Dowd.

But late into the night as the last and largest pre-polling booth came in, 25-year-old Labor candidate Zac Beers took the two candidate preferred lead.

It was a big change in mood for the Labor faithful at Gladstone Bowls Club who sat and watched the ABC call the seat for the LNP and Mr O'Dowd at 11.30pm.

The crowd booed and former member Labor member for Flynn and current Gladstone deputy mayor Chris Trevor shouted "it's not right, there is still a lot of votes to come".

And he was right; at the end of the night with 70% of the vote counted and the result too close to call Mr Beers has been on the receiving end of a 8.06% swing to Labor.

"What it says to me is that we ran a really good campaign and people are dissatisfied with Ken," he said.

"Across the electorate there was a lot of disappointment with the level of activity with the incumbent member. Whether or not that's enough to get us over the line we will see what happens."

After Gayndah pre-polling and four hospital booth votes came in yesterday afternoon he has 2,058 more votes than sitting LNP member Ken O'Dowd.

But Mr Beers isn't packing his bags bags for Canberra yet because there are about 10,000 postal votes still to be counted.

"Historically the numbers haven't fallen our way with the postals, so it's going to be a close race," he said.

He said it was impossible to tell how the postal votes would come in but there could be a "curve ball" as a result of the construction downturn.

With the construction of the three liquefied natural gas plants on Curtis Island in full swing during the 2013 election these workers who are now on other projects interstate could be Mr Beers' saving grace against the historical postal vote dominance from the LNP and Mr O'Dowd.

"There are a lot of workers [who are traditional Labor voters], from Gladstone that are now in Darwin and Western Australia," he said. …

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