Labor's Tim Lawson vows to return
LABOR candidate Tim Lawson has mixed emotions about failing to block a return by the Coalation's Keith Pitt in the seat of Hinkler.
But thanking his supporters, Mr Lawson vowed to return bigger and better with the experience of the 2016 campaign under his belt.
"After such a long campaign I'm a little bit relieved that it's all over, a little bit disappointed and quite happy with how the campaign was run at the end of the day," he said.
"I think we did well in the time we had and the fact that I was a new candidate and that this was always going to be my first campaign not my last campaign.
"I think it was really good to get my name out there within Hervey Bay and Bundaberg and prove that there is an alternative to the current state of affairs in the Hinkler electorate."
With 45 of the 48 polling booths counted, there's been a 1.18% two-party preferred basis swing in favour of Labor and Mr Lawson said that aspect was pleasing.
"We went into this campaign knowing it was going to be a hard battle," he said.
"We needed a 9% swing and even though there was bigger swings in the state election we never expected that we'd probably get the whole 9%.
"We're a bit disappointed we didn't get more of a swing but lessons have been learnt and we'll be better placed to put in a better showing."
Mr Lawson said One Nation's Damian Huxham took votes from both Labor and the Coalition after picking up 19.65% of the primary vote.
"Damian is quite a personable guy and I was always concerned whether he was taking votes away from Labor or Liberal and I think at the end of the day it might have been a 50/50 split," he said.
"It just shows the discontent a lot of people have with both major parties at the moment and I think both parties need to pull their socks up and start governing for the people."
Mr Lawson thanked his supporters and has vowed to return, possibly sooner than the next Federal election after refusing to rule out contesting the next state election.
"I'll definitely be around. Stephen Bennett has made a few mistakes in the last year that I think people are unhappy with so he'll be the next member in our sights from the Labor party," he said.
"I would prefer federal politics, I think I can get more done for our country, but I definitely wouldn't rule out a run in the state as well."