Stephen Bennett at East State School polling booth.
Stephen Bennett at East State School polling booth. Mike Knott

Bennett not ready to claim seat after ECQ 'mistake'

IMCUMBENT Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett will not claim the seat of Burnett just yet.

Mr Bennett said the Electoral Commission Queensland website had given out incorrect information this morning and he would not make a call until it was corrected.

The ECQ websites election summary reads "incorrect candidate selected" for the seat of Burnett.

"They have suspended counting in my seat, so I don't know yet," Mr Bennett said.

"It's a bit disappointing of the ECQ... but we are trying to get some answers.

INCORRECT: Incumbent member for Burnett Stephen Bennett is question why the results on the ECQ website state Incorrect Candidate Selected in the Burnett count.
INCORRECT: Incumbent member for Burnett Stephen Bennett is question why the results on the ECQ website state Incorrect Candidate Selected in the Burnett count. ECQ screen shot

"The returning office won't give me an answer and I'm really disappointed with that."

He said there were 21 other seats also affected throughout Queensland.

Mr Bennett believed preferential voting may have caused the issue, but could not say for sure.

"We had a really strong vote although we are still apprehensive about the ECQ and the stuff we are reading online," he said.

"We are back at work this morning but waiting for the ECQ to get on with the job."

Mr Bennett said he was humbled by the votes he had received but it was still wait-and-see.

According to the Courier Mail, the ECQ says confusion with some election results on Saturday night was caused by out-of-date preference flows being applied to 21 seats.

A host of seats on the ECQ's website became blank as the ECQ realised it could no longer use historical preference flows to predict winners due to the massive redistribution this year.

A spokeswoman said the official first preference counts were always correct.

But notional counts - which have no bearing on the election but are designed to give an early indication of preference flows based on polling and voting trends - were withdrawn in some seats.

"The redrawing of electoral boundaries by the Queensland Redistribution Commission impacted one in three voters so it emerged that past performance was not an indicator of current trends in 21 seats," she said.

Callide and Hervey Bay have also been caught up in the confusion.



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