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Coalition Secures Absolute Majority Of 76; Labor Claims Cowan; Just Two Seats Still Undecided

11.45pm – As election counting entered its second week today, the ALP claimed victory in Cowan, whilst the LNP drew further ahead in Capricornia and Flynn, securing an absolute majority of 76 seats for the Turnbull government.

The ALP still leads in Hindmarsh and Herbert, the two remaining undecided seats in the House of Representatives.

In Cowan, the ALP’s Anne Aly claimed victory and will become the first female Muslim to be elected to the House. A batch of votes that had been wrongly counted for the Liberals delivered several hundred votes to Aly. Her 946 vote lead, combined with preference flows means that Cowan can now be taken out of the doubtful list. There are 6,942 votes still to count. The ALP now has a confirmed 67 seats.

The ALP’s lead in Hindmarsh remains at 583 votes. This seat will probably come out of the doubtful list in the next day or two, since the ALP lead seems firm. There are 5,307 votes still to count. The Liberals’ 53.81% advantage in postals is offset by the ALP’s 56.06% advantage in absentees.

In the Queensland seats of Capricornia and Flynn, the LNP extended its leads. Both seats have now been removed from the doubtful list.

In Capricornia, the LNP lifted its weekend lead of 148 votes to 691. There are 3,475 votes to count and it is clear that the LNP will retain the seat. A traditionally Labor electorate, Capricornia was lost by the ALP in 1975 and 1996. In both cases, it was regained at the following election. Michelle Landry becomes the first non-Labor member for Capricornia to win consecutive elections since Henry Pearce, who held it between 1949 and 1961. Pearce is now 98 years old and is one of only two surviving members from the 1949 parliament. [Read more…]