Blair now a Labor fortress for Shayne
DEFYING both the polls and the betting odds, Blair's Labor MP Shayne Neumann not only managed to hold his seat but actually increased his margin.
As election day dawned, opinion pollsters were warning that Blair was firmly in the "danger zone" of Labor seats in Queensland.
The viewpoint was reflected in betting markets with LNP candidate Teresa Harding at $1.50 to win, with Mr Neumann at $2.30.
But after the polls closed and the votes began to trickle in, it became clear that the 52-year-old father-of-two would hold his seat for a third consecutive term.
With 77% of the vote counted, Mr Neumann had won just over 55% of the two-party preferred vote - with a swing to Labor of 1.43%.
"I didn't bet any money on myself, but I know a few of my supporters who did and won a bit of cash," a relieved Mr Neumann joked at his post-election party at Banjo's Bar in Ipswich.
"I've said it the whole time: the people would decide the outcome of Blair - not the pollsters or the punters or the political commentators."
Mr Neumann said he believed voters had re-elected him because they did not want to see "Campbell's Queensland become Abbott's Australia".
"People saw the State LNP Government's cuts to services, jobs and funding in the region and didn't want more of that," he said.
But the re-elected MP's victory party was soured a little by a solid Labor defeat nationally.
With 76% of the votes counted, Labor had held 51 seats and was predicted to win a further six seats while the LNP had secured 81 and was likely to win another eight.
Mr Neumann said the ALP had simply spent too much time arguing among themselves rather than focusing on the needs, aspirations and desires of the people. He said his party had also been impaired by LNP-biased newspaper coverage from some Murdoch-owned media publications.
"This is the first time the seat of Blair has been won by someone who is going into opposition...so we defied the odds there" he said.
"But I'm going to fight hard and tirelessly to make sure the ALP projects we budgeted for and announced in our campaign are carried out."
Among his priorities was the relocation of the Brisbane Lions to the Centenary Sports Hub in Springfield, upgrades to the Willowbank raceway and the Lowood pool and extra funding to Ipswich Hospice Care.
"And if Abbott and his Liberal government rips them away, I will be shouting and screaming and fighting as hard as I can."
LNP candidate Ms Harding said she felt the election outcome was a loss for the people of Blair but respected the voters' decision.
"I think we would have been able to get more done with a local member who was part of a government with a strong majority, rather than someone in opposition," she said.
"But with a 4.2% margin it was always going to be a tough seat to win over, which is why my team and I had been working so hard since January.
"I'm disappointed in the result, but I congratulate Shayne and thank everyone who voted for me and my fellow LNP members for their support."
HOW YOU VOTED
- Shayne Neumann ALP 42.03%
- Teresa Harding LNP 33.39%
- Anthony Stanton PUP 12.85%
- Clare Rudkin GREENS 4.19%
- Dale Chorley KAP 2.95%
- Shannon Deguara IND 1.23%
- Elwin Denman FAM 2.71%
- Anthony Mackin RUAP 0.65%