It has become a farce. Or as former small minister Fran Bailey says: “It is Monty Pythonesque.”
But the tightest race in Australia’s political history continues, as electoral officials agree to a re-count in the battle for the seat of McEwan.
The Australian Electoral Commission has agreed to the re-count after Liberal sitting member Bailey, who lost by six votes, claimed there were basic counting errors, missing votes and unauthorised ballots. The AEC would not comment on whether there was any validity to the claims.
The counting of over 100,000 ballot papers is expected to be completed by the middle of next week, with an announcement made when the recount has been competed. There will be no progressive results.
Bailey says it has been the tightest race in Australian political history. “I certainly have grounds for a re-count. There has to be transparency of the processes that underpins our whole democratic process.” Bailey says she does not think there has been any deliberate corruption; just incompetence.
Bailey described the experience as a roller coaster. She says she had already accepted the fact that she had lost and moved on in her mind. But she says if she does end up holding the seat, she will stay on as a backbencher.