'Quite pleasing': O'Dowd speaks out on surprise lead
TIPPED as a key seat in the Federal Election, Flynn was expected to have a cliffhanger result, but within two hours of counting it was clear how the electorate had voted.
Incumbent Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd looks set to retain his seat for a fourth term, with support falling for second-time Labor candidate Zac Beers.
While he said his 9000-vote lead ahead of Mr Beers was "quite pleasing", Mr O'Dowd refused to declare his campaign a success with 15,000 postal and pre-poll votes yet to be counted.
In Flynn, Capricornia and Dawson Coalition MPs reaped the rewards of the government's campaign against Labor's policies on negative gearing, franking credits and climate change.
Despite several visits to Flynn from now former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor frontbenchers, the party was unable to shift votes in their direction in the rural parts of the electorate.
Political experts yesterday suggested preferences from Pauline Hanson's One Nation and United Australia Party voters were pivotal to Mr O'Dowd's success.
Yesterday afternoon Mr O'Dowd had secured 56.29 per cent in the two-party preferred vote to Mr Beers' 43.71 per cent.
"It's been a hard task the past five weeks not only for me but for my staff and my temporary staff and the volunteers," he said.
"When you have to provide 75 polling booths with staff and volunteers (this result) is very gratifying for myself but it's just as gratifying for those people because without them I couldn't have done it."
One Nation candidate Sharon Lohse secured 19.5 per cent of the first preference votes.
"I'm not prepared to declare it yet because I know what can happen," Mr O'Dowd said.
He said the Coalition's support for coal mining helped secure votes in Tieri, Blackwater, Emerald and Biloela.
Mr O'Dowd spoke highly of Mr Beers and said he had a "pretty good campaign".
"I think he ran a fair campaign, it was outside things that didn't help him, like what happened to the port authority contractor who was suspended after the Bill Shorten visit," he said.
"The inconsistency of the Labor Party when it comes to Adani didn't help his cause either."
Ahead of Saturday's Federal Election Flynn was one of the key Queensland seats with Mr O'Dowd hanging on by a small margin of one per cent.