‘Up to a week’ to decide Geraldton

Francesca Mann and Gavin BoxGeraldton Guardian

UPDATED Sunday March 12 at 12:51pm: With no clear winner emerging last night for the seat of Geraldton, the WA Electoral Commission has said it may take up to a week to get a result.

Liberal incumbent Ian Blayney has a slender hold on a two-party preferred basis, with 8685 votes (50.81%) to Labor challenger Lara Dalton’s 8407 (49.19%).

Ms Dalton stormed ahead on first preferences, leading by more than 1000 votes – 5915 to 4708.

As no candidates reached a majority on first preferences, the WA Electoral Commission said a full distribution of preferences would take place.

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However this won’t occur until all votes have been received, with postal votes accepted up until Thursday, March 16.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation came ahead of all the minor parties on first preferences.

Progressive votes have fallen as follows: Paul Brown (Nationals) 2973 votes, Wayne Martin (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) 1597, Paul Connolly (Greens) 652, David Caudwell (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) 633, Greg Hall (Australian Christians) 333 and Victor Tanti (Independent) 305.

Ms Dalton is leading in almost all booths, with the vote for Labor most strong at Rangeway, where she led 555 to Mr Blayney 170.

Mr Blayney was leading at Moonyoonooka, Walkaway and Wandina.

Counting is expected to resume on Monday.

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