18/03/2013 - 07:20

Recounts to be held in two seats

18/03/2013 - 07:20

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There will be recounts in two tight West Australian electorates, after the WA Electoral Commission declared Labor winners in both seats but by less than a hundred votes.

After a marathon scrutineering session by the Electoral Commission on Saturday, a week after the polls closed, Labor candidates were declared narrow winners in three seats - Collie-Preston, Kimberley and Midland.

In Kimberley, despite a strong showing by the Greens, Labor candidate Josie Farrer came out on top by 1154 votes.

In Collie-Preston, Labor member Mick Murray officially retained his seat by just 59 votes.

And in Midland, Labor powerbroker Michelle Roberts officially held onto her seat by the slimmest of margins - just 23 votes.

The Electoral Commission later confirmed recounts would be conducted for the seats of Midland and Collie-Preston, after the Liberal Party accepted offers for more scrutiny.

"Where the margin is less than 100 votes our returning officers automatically offer the candidates another full distribution of preferences before declaring the result," said Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately.

Assuming there is no change in the results of Collie-Preston and Midland after recounts, Labor will finish with 21 seats in the lower house, the Nationals 7 seats, and the Liberals 31 seats. 

Collie-Preston's recount will start at 10am WST on Monday and Midland's will run from 10am Tuesday.

Final results should be known on Monday and Tuesday evening, respectively.

The commission continued finalising formal counts in more than a dozen remaining seats on Sunday, with the rest to follow during the week.

Meanwhile, 150 WAEC staff will continue working to finalise the Legislative Council tally.

Details of more than 1.2 million Upper House votes will be entered into the special count WA computer system.

Results in the Mining and Pastoral and Agricultural regions should be calculated by Tuesday, with winners in the remaining four regions expected to be announced by Wednesday.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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