Former small business minister Fran Bailey is not claiming victory yet. But she expects to later today. After a recount of more than 100,000 votes in her Victorian seat of McEwen, she is 12 votes ahead of rival Rob Mitchell.
“I will not make a formal declaration until later today, but it looks like I have won by 12 votes,” she says.
Bailey could be waiting a little longer. The Australian Electoral Commission told SmartCompany this morning that the official result will not be announced until tomorrow at the earliest. “It could even be Thursday because we are still counting preferences,” a spokeswoman says.
Bailey says on the nine issues she raised that resulted in the recount, eight had now been dealt with. “I don’t know if I get a formal response from the AEC about what happened,” she says.
Bailey says she does not believe there was anything untoward. “But we really do need to move into the 21st century and do electronic voting,” she says.
She says she has mixed emotions because she is still waiting for the final announcement. “You feel relief and numbness, because it’s been going on for such a long time,” she says.
Bailey says she will accept the final decision from the AEC. “Now I am thinking if I get across the line how will I make a real contribution? I made a commitment to stand for three years and I will honour that commitment. But first I am going to have a good break.”
It is not known if Mitchell will request a recount.