Incumbent LNP candidate Tony Perrett (pictured with wife Michele) is expected to claim a third term as Gympie’s state representative.
Incumbent LNP candidate Tony Perrett (pictured with wife Michele) is expected to claim a third term as Gympie’s state representative.

Vote count confirms Perrett's strong lead in race for Gympie

3PM November 1: INCUMBENT LNP candidate Tony Perrett is expected to be returned to Gympie's state seat for a third term despite a minor swing against his party.

Official reports have the region's voters delivering a swing of 0.9 per cent to Labor, nowhere near the shift needed to unseat Mr Perrett who claimed the seat by an 8.7 per cent margin over One Nation in 2017.

The swing towards Labor has not affected Mr Perrett's primary support; he claimed 42 per cent of the vote before preferences, up 5 per cent on 2017.

This has been helped by the stunning collapse of the One Nation vote in Gympie, which has fallen from 29.8 per cent of the first vote in 2017 to only 12 per cent this year.

Labor also benefited from the drop; candidate Geoff Williams claimed 28 per cent of the primary vote, up 6 per cent from 2017.

The Greens Lauren-Granger Brown rounded out the major parties with 5 per cent of the vote.

 

Sources say a significant number of preferences are expected to flow to Mr Perrett from residents whose first choice was Greens candidate Lauren Granger-Brown.
Sources say a significant number of preferences are expected to flow to Mr Perrett from residents whose first choice was Greens candidate Lauren Granger-Brown.

Even with a strong lead Mr Perrett said it was still "too early" to claim victory.

"It's looking solid … but until you actually see the proper two-party preferred and then of course the postal votes and prepoll, knowing at least 60 per cent of people voted before today," Mr Perrett said.

But the prospect of spending yet another term in opposition was unappealing.

"It's frustrating," Mr Perrett said.

"I've spent the best part of six years - and to think it's going to be another four years - in opposition.

"It's going to be a real challenge."

A large number of prepoll and postal votes still need to be counted over the next 10 days. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
A large number of prepoll and postal votes still need to be counted over the next 10 days. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

And he was not surprised by the drop in support for One Nation.

"The statewide indication was (One Nation) was going to lose some votes and that certainly happened," he said.

Mr Perrett declined to be drawn on the potential future of Nanango's Deb Frecklington as party leader following an expected LNP loss.

"It's too early to speculate on that," he said.

"We've got to wait until the final votes are in just to see what transpires in some of the seats that are close."

Not everyone was willing to concede the election even with Mr Perrett's commanding position.

Independent Tim Jerome was still keeping the light on for his chances, even after claiming only 5 per cent of the first vote.

"This Gympie seat is far from being won by the LNP," Mr Jerome said.

"There are still a great many postal votes to be counted and then we have preferences.

"It is far from over for me."

 

7.30PM: GYMPIE'S incumbent LNP candidate Tony Perrett continues to hold a strong lead in Gympie on the back a surprise collapse in support for One Nation.

Mr Perrett has claimed more than 40 per cent of the primary vote with almost one fifth of the region's votes counted, 3 per cent more than he claimed in 2017.

The votes have come from One Nation where the party's 29 per cent primary vote in 2017 has plummeted to 14 per cent.

 

One Nation’s Michael Blaxland has claimed only 14 per cent of the primary vote tonight, down significantly from the 29 per cent support the party enjoyed in 2017.
One Nation’s Michael Blaxland has claimed only 14 per cent of the primary vote tonight, down significantly from the 29 per cent support the party enjoyed in 2017.

 

Labor's Geoff Williams has received some help from the collapse too; his 29 per cent support is up 7 per cent on what the ALP claimed last election.

Green's candidate Lauren Granger-Brown holds a slim 0.1 per cent lead over Tim Jerome for fourth.

Independents Donna Reardon and Roland Maertens, and the IMOP's Nicholas Fairbairn round out the field.

 

6.45PM: INCUMBENT LNP candidate Tony Perrett has taken a significant early lead as vote counting gets underway for the Gympie seat.

Mr Perrett has claimed 40 per cent of the vote with 1.54 per cent of the votes counted.

Labor's Geoff Williams is sitting behind Mr Perrett with 26 per cent of the primary vote, with One Nation's Michael Blaxland trailing significantly behind at 13 per cent.

LNP candidate Tony Perrett has taken an early lead in the polls. Picture: Shane Zahner
LNP candidate Tony Perrett has taken an early lead in the polls. Picture: Shane Zahner

The Green's Lauren Granger-Brown is in fourth with 9 per cent.

Tim Jerome is the pick of the Independents so far at 4 per cent, followed by Roland Maertens and Tim Jerome.

The IMOP's Nicholas Fairbairn rounds out the list with 1 per cent support.

 

 

3PM: FOUR weeks of campaigning will come to a head tonight as Gympie's voters have their say on who will represent them in State parliament for the next four years.

Turnout has been a vastly different beast than in previous years though with only one third of the electorate choosing to either prepoll or mail their vote in.

Incumbent LNP Tony Perrett is the favourite with online betting groups, having taken the seat with an 8.7 per cent margin over One Nation in 2017.

Check back for rolling updates on the count throughout the night.

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* GYMPIE VOTES: Everything you need to know

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