A BEAMING Wright MP Scott Buchholz declared victory a few hours after polling closed on Saturday.
With the Australian Electoral Commission still tallying votes, it appeared Mr Buchholz would hold the seat for the third consecutive term, with about 59.5 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote.
With Wright considered a safe seat for the Coalition, voting numbers indicated a 2.5 per cent swing to the Australian Labor Party from the 2013 election.
Wright Labor candidate Allistair Smith said he was happy with the ALP’s performance in the electorate.
“We’ve achieved a swing towards Labor and that’s something we can build on,” he said.
It is a markedly different situation in the Forde electorate, where, when counting of votes cast at polling places throughout the electorate closed at 2am on Sunday, just 149 votes separated the two leading candidates.
AEC Queensland spokesperson Pirjo Heinonen said with the margin so close and counting of postal votes closing only 13 days after election day, it was likely that the new federal member for Forde would be declared only in two weeks.
“Legislation requires that postal votes are included in the count if the vote is received by the returning officer within 13 days of election day,” she said.
A total of 12,224 envelopes have been issued for postal votes in Forde.
Mr van Manen yesterday thanked the Forde community for their support, patience and well wishes over the weekend, with the latest count putting him 149 votes behind Mr Hardman.
He said he was sincerely humbled by the amount of support while campaigning across the electorate and would wait until postal votes came in before speculating on the result.
“Postal votes will be counted from Tuesday and at this stage I will not be commenting until we have a clear result,” he said.
“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the Forde community for the past six years.
“I thank everyone for their words of encouragement and interest in the current situation, but I will not be speculating on the count until we have a final result.”
Labor candidate for Forde, Des Hardman, who at the time of going to press was in the lead by a fraction, said he was pleased and proud of the 4.49 per cent swing in favour of Labor, which had been recorded in votes cast at polling places throughout the electorate on election day.
Mr Hardman said he was optimistic that postal votes too would favour Labor.
“There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a swing towards us in the postals as well,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.