Palmer behind majority of challenges in Fairfax count

THE task keeps getting harder for LNP candidate Ted O'Brien with his opponent Clive Palmer drawing further ahead each day in the recount for the federal seat of Fairfax.

Mr Palmer now holds a 52-vote lead on the two-party preferred vote distribution.

The extraordinary number of challenges to ballot papers have now been determined and will be incorporated back into the count this week.

Of the 89,176 votes cast in Fairfax, 50,099 challenges were made to the authenticity of ballot papers, most coming from scrutineers for Mr Palmer.

Of those, close to 44,000 had to be referred on from the divisional returning officer David McKenzie to Australian electoral officer for Queensland Ann Bright.

She worked on Saturday, overseen by scrutineers from both camps, to clear the backlog and speed up the process.

The 41-vote margin Mr Palmer held at the close of the recount on Friday dropped backed to 39 votes earlier yesterday. However, he surged ahead at the close.  

Topics:  clive palmer fairfax federal election lnp palmer united party ted obrien

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