Peter Dutton claims victory in key Qld seat

 

Tony Abbott may have lost his safe Liberal seat, but things are looking better for Peter Dutton.

The Home Affairs Minister leads 54.23 per cent to 45.77 after preferences with 33 per cent of the vote counted.

He faced a challenge from Labor candidate Ali France during at an times ugly campaign.

The Home Affairs Minister faced the fight of his political career in his ultra-marginal seat of Dickson, which he held by a razor-thin margin of just 1.7 per cent.

Mr Dutton, who has held the Queensland seat since 2001, faced off with Labor's Ali France for the hotly-contested electorate.

He also faced a brutal campaign from high-profile political activist group GetUp!, which has waged war against Mr Dutton and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott after declaring them the "country's most loathed politicians".

Last time Australia headed to the polls, Mr Dutton was able to hold the seat for the Liberals, scoring 51.6 per cent of votes compared with Labor's 48.4 per cent.

FEDERAL
2019
Forde Herbert Petrie Capricornia Dickson Dawson Flynn

Mr Dutton is in charge of Australia's security, and has broad influence over immigration policy due to his role as home affairs minister - but most Aussies know him best for his failed attempt to replace Malcolm Turnbull, with the top job ultimately going to Scott Morrison.

Mr Dutton remained defiant as he cast his own vote at Albany Creek State High School this afternoon.

He told reporters he and his team had run a "very effective campaign" against an "unprecedented personal attack" by Labor and GetUp!

However, Mr Dutton's campaign began with an extraordinary gaffe after be argued Ms France - who lost a leg in 2011 in a car accident - had used her disability as an excuse not to move into the area.

But the incumbent member said his controversial comments had not been a cause of concern for voters he had met with.

GetUp campaign director Ruby-Rose O'Halloran told news.com.au more than 300 local volunteers in Dickson had worked together to put more affordable healthcare front and centre this election.

"Peter Dutton is desperately afraid of Dickson voters talking to one another because he knows they'll say he's spent his time in parliament blocking progress on the issues that matter," she said.

"Our members have done extraordinary work connecting with undecided voters in Dickson and overwhelmingly, voters have told them that they think Peter Dutton is out of touch.

"Australia-wide more than 9000 volunteers have put in more than 22,500 hours talking to other voters, this is grassroots democracy at work."

Other candidates for the seat include Benedict Coyne for The Greens, independent Thor Prohaska, United Australia Party's Steve Austin, the Animal Justice Party's

Maureen Brohman, Carrol Halliwell for Pauline Hanson's One Nation and Richelle Simpson, representing Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party.

 

RELATED: 16 key seats that will decide election

Continue the conversation @carey_alexis | alexis.carey@news.com.au



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