ALP Candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke.
ALP Candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke. Chris Ison ROK131117calp2

UPDATE: D-day in battle for Rockhampton

HISTORY is repeating.

Just as it was almost 20 years ago the seat of Rockhampton has come down to a battle between One Nation and Labor.

In 1998, Len Timms captured 40% of the two-candidate-preferred result as he lost out to Labor's Robert Schwarten.

Today, Mr Schwarten's "first reserve" Barry O'Rourke is tipped to keep Rockhampton in ALP hands as the battle becomes a two-horse race with One Nation's Wade Rothery.

It has been one of the most fascinating and bruising elections in recent Rockhampton history.

Independent candidate Margaret Strelow effectively conceded following yesterday's distribution of LNP preferences.

These flowed strongly to Mr Rothery enabling him to make up the just over 700 votes he was behind Ms Strelow following the primary vote.

 

Former rugby league player and now One Nation candidate Wade Rothery in Rockhampton today.
Former rugby league player and now One Nation candidate Wade Rothery in Rockhampton today. Steve Vit

The Morning Bulletin understands One Nation picked up 57% of LNP preferences, with Ms Strelow 27% and Mr O'Rourke 15%.

Most political commentators now expect Mr O'Rourke to hold onto the seat with Ms Strelow's preferences to be counted.

Ms Strelow didn't give any direction for preferences on her how-to-vote card.

Late yesterday, Mr O'Rourke was taking a patient approach.

"At this stage we need to wait," Mr O'Rourke said.

"We need to wait until all the preferences from the LNP are finalised and then we will need to look at the preferences from the Independent."

He said Ms Strelow's approach meant the votes could go anywhere.

"I prefer to wait for the process to be finished."

He said after four tough weeks of campaigning, he had plenty on his plate with jobs around the house and yard work keeping him occupied these past few days.

"I've been packing signs up and doing yard work, mowing the lawn and all the little jobs I haven't got to."

A spokesman for One Nation said Rockhampton voters had been provided strong, "refreshing" alternatives to the two major parties during this election.

He said it was clear people were upset with both the LNP and ALP.

The spokesman also said the party was "not out of the race" in Keppel.

"Matt Loth is looking very promising," the spokesman said. One Nation didn't run a candidate at the last federal election in Capricornia, but given the strong showing in Rockhampton, Keppel and Mirani, where they won the seat, the spokesman said the party's message was clearly resonating in the region.



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Have you seen Kimberly Barber?

The 19-year-old was last seen at Alexandra St yesterday afternoon.

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