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Political limbo continues for Whitsunday

By Mark Beale

THE deadline for the return of postal ballots has now come and gone but there is still no clear winner in the political battle for Whitsunday.

For the past few days the Electoral Commission Queensland’s two-party preferred count has remained the same, with a difference of just 313 votes between Jason Costigan (LNP) and Bronwyn Taha (Labor), and Mr Costigan just ahead.

Mr Costigan says he is still confident of retaining the seat, which he won in a landslide victory at the state election of 2012.

Nonetheless, he knows his party’s position across the state is tenuous.

“If we do [keep the seat], I will be one of only three LNP MPs along the coast north of Bundaberg,” he said.

“Our newly elected leader Lawrence Sprinborg is certainly well aware of that and it is my hope and expectation that we will start afresh and re-engage with the people of regional Queensland.”

Mr Costigan wanted to remind Ms Taha that “we fared much better than what she’s made out”.

“Sure we copped a kick up the bum across the state but if you look closely at the results, my primary vote went down by about 2.6 per cent, which stacks up extremely well compared to many of my former and current colleagues,” he said.

Ms Taha meanwhile said she was just waiting for “a correct figure”.

“It’s a difficult time [but] I respect that the ECQ will have a result for us sooner rather than later so the voters can have closure,” she said.

Ms Taha said if she were elected some of her first acts would be to look into the Proserpine BP station and address issues relating to youth unemployment and mental health.

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