Katter's hold on Kennedy shaken

I congratulate Mr Katter on his election as the Member for Kennedy.

At the declaration of the poll today the LNP Candidate, Noeline Ikin was almost 10000 primary votes in front of Mr Katter in what has been one of the most remarkable turnarounds of the 2013 election.

I congratulate Noeline Ikin on her campaign and on almost achieving the impossible.

Before the election, everyone told me that Mr Katter was unassailable in his north western seat of Kennedy, however Noeline Ikin did not accept that and, although she was pre-selected relatively late in the piece, she conducted a magnificent campaign and impressed every voter with whom she came in contact.

The swing against Mr Katter was in the order of 17.35 per cent and he has only retained the seat on preferences from the Labor Party, Greens and the Palmer Party, all of which directed preferences to him.

Although she was not favoured by preferences from any of the other major candidates, Mrs Ikin received an absolute majority in more than 40 of the individual polling booths and in her home town of Georgetown she won a massive 74.38 per cent of the valid vote.

The swing to Mrs Ikin was the largest swing to the Coalition in any electorate in Australia and highlights the success of the LNP in that seat. Had Mrs Ikin been pre-selected at the same time as other LNP candidates in Queensland were pre-selected, then I am confident that the extra few months campaigning would have made the difference.

I have nothing but praise for Noeline Ikin. I just regret that the expressed wish of most voters in Kennedy for Mrs Ikin as their MP did not occur because of preference deals between minor parties including the Katter Australia Party and the ALP.

I would hope and expect that at the next election Mrs Ikin will again be the LNP candidate and will, at that election, finish the job that she started so well on September 7.

It has been my honour and privilege to have worked closely with Mrs Ikin in her campaign from the very first circumnavigation of the electorate within a couple of weeks of her pre-selection. She has shown herself to be a very caring, concerned and capable representative of the people of her electorate and at some time in the future, she will make a wonderful representative for Kennedy.

On a personal note I am pleased to see that the Senate vote for the LNPin Kennedy where I spent most of my time campaigning in the election period, was the highest of all of the Northern Electorates and was the biggest vote for the LNP in the seats we did not win at the election. The LNP Senate vote in Kennedy was double the ALP vote and three times that ofthe Katter Party vote.

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