Herbert MP in ‘very tense wait’ in close count for northern Qld seat

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The LNP member for Herbert says he is “no doubt in trouble” as the close count for his northern Queensland seat continues. Ewen Jones is trailing Labor’s Cathy O’Toole by just 0.7 per cent after preferences.

Mr Jones said he was hoping his better results in pre-poll votes would continue in the postal votes yet to be counted.

He expected there were more than 6,000 postal votes and up to 2,000 absentee votes still to come in.

“It’s a very tense wait. We feel if we can get the right flow, we’ll be home,” he said.

“There’s no point in concession at the moment, I am behind, there’s no doubt in that. I am in trouble, there’s no doubt in that.

“What we have to do is let the vote take its course and if we’re close enough, we’re good enough. If we’re not, we’re not.”

Mr Jones said if he lost his seat it would be because he failed to properly address the concerns of struggling people.

He said the end of the mining boom and the collapse of Queensland Nickel had created tough economic conditions in his seat and there was a perception the Government was not doing enough.

“I think if I did make a mistake in this campaign it was talking about Townsville 2025/2030 and I was talking to people who are desperate about the next fortnight.

“I think if anyone has made the mistake it’s me, saying that the jobs are here, the future is bright but we’ve got to get over this hump, but I didn’t talk about the hump long enough.”

Mr Jones said he was not blaming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“What I think Malcolm Turnbull tried to do is run a very positive campaign.”

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