The Divisional Returning Officer for Herbert has exercised the powers available under Section 279 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to conduct a recount for Herbert.
The recount will proceed without completing a full distribution of preferences for the original count which would otherwise occur now.
The Divisional Returning Officer has made this decision after judging that the margin between the two leading candidates, after a full distribution of preferences, would remain firmly in the scope of a requirement for a recount. Any margin less than a hundred votes is cause for an automatic recount.
At the conclusion of the Two Candidate Preferred (TCP) count, Ms Cathy O’Toole, Australian Labor Party led Mr Ewen Jones, Liberal National Party of Queensland, by a margin of 8 votes.
The recount will involve:
- a count of all first preference votes for candidates, and a re-examination of informal votes
- a two candidate preferred (TCP) count, and
- a full distribution of preferences. This is a final count of all formal votes, and serves to check the TCP margin and provide the final outcome.
The recount will commence on Thursday 21 July in Townsville and is expected to take approximately two weeks.
Proceeding directly to conducting a recount will help ensure that the AEC provides clarity on the result for the candidates and the electors of Herbert as soon as possible.
A number of other administrative processes will be finalised during this time for the Division of Hebert for the 2016 federal election.
The AEC has until 8 August 2016 to return the writs.
The Division of Herbert is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the 1901 election. It is located in northern Queensland, and is named after Sir Robert Herbert, the first Premier of Queensland (1859–1866). It has always been based on the city of Townsville, though on its original boundaries it extended from Mackay to the Torres Strait, covering from what are now the seats of Dawson through to Leichhardt. Successive redistributions have cut back the seat to little more than Townsville and its inner suburbs.