Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson and Labor candidate Alison Smith.
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson and Labor candidate Alison Smith.

LNP stalwart claims victory to extend career past 30 years

UPDATE 11PM:

Fiona Simpson has claimed victory in Maroochydore, extending her tenure beyond three decades.

She prevailed despite a valiant challenge by Labor candidate Alison Smith, to extend a career which began in 1992.

Ms Simpson told the Daily she was "happy to declare victory", and her focus had always been on first doing the right thing by her electorate.

She said she was disappointed by the overall statewide result and said it was vital everyone worked together to get the state moving forward once more.

EARLIER:

Sitting member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson is confident in the trends she is seeing, that she will retain her seat, despite a challenge mounted by Labor candidate Alison Smith.

After more than 4300 votes counted Ms Simpson led the unofficial preference count 51.61 per cent to 48.39 per cent over Ms Smith.

Greens youngster Gabrielle Unverzagt had gathered 12.13 per cent of votes, no doubt aiding a challenge by Ms Smith, who had picked up more than 27 per cent of the primary vote, after 9500 had been counted.

FOLLOW OUR ROLLING ELECTION COVERAGE HERE

Caloundra hopeful lost for words after early support

But the prepoll and postal votes were expected to favour Ms Simpson as they had done previously, and she was confident she was tracking "in the right direction" to hold the seat.

She said the last election had more than half of voters hitting the booths early, and she was "on trend already".

She said booths voters had been much lower this year, and she said certain booth results could no longer be tracked because of the high early vote figure.

Ms Simpson said she was seeing a "very clearly positive" local trend.

"I feel very grateful for the support I've had," she said.

She stopped short of claiming victory, but said she was confident results were moving in the right direction.

Ms Smith said the result wasn't clear yet, but so far she'd secured a 5.5 per cent swing to Labor, which had been uplifting.


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