Ipswich’s election battle goes down to the wire
IPSWICH voters headed to the polls early ahead of the today's election with more than 6500 voters cast their votes in pre-polling in Blair.
Sitting Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann was joined by LNP candidate Teresa Harding and Palmers United Party candidate Anthony Stanton in handing out how to vote cards at the Riverlink polling booth.
Mr Neumann said it was now all down to the to decide the fate of Blair.
"We're working 24 hours a day. Elections are decided by the people, not the pollsters and pundits," he said.
"We take nothing for granted. We will continue to work hard until the end."
He said a Tony Abbott Government would not fund the proposed move of the Brisbane Lions to Springfield or the Willowbank precinct upgrade.
In 2010, Mr Neumann claimed the seat of Blair ahead of LNP candidate Neil Zabel 54.24 per cent to 45.76 per cent on a two-party preferred vote.
But Sportingbet yesterday made Ms Harding the narrow favourite to win the seat, after weeks of Mr Neumann leading the field.
Ms Harding said she will be giving her last roadside waves today.
"I've been campaigning for 14 months and I've really enjoyed meeting so many people and how people have opened up to me," she said.
Ms Harding said Tony Abbott's visit to Ipswich during the campaign proved he cares about the people of Blair.
Palmer United candidate Mr Stanton said the fledgling party was starting to make an impression on voters.
He said interest in the party had picked up in the last few days leading to the election and he claimed the PUP would replace the Greens as the country's third political party.
"All indications are we look like surpassing the Greens," he said.
"I'm confident we will have a solid showing. I think it will take more than one election to surpass the bigger parties."
As election day edged closer some QT Facebook readers reported unwelcome intrusions into their evenings thanks to automated and recorded phone calls from Coalition leader Tony Abbott.
The candidates vying for Blair include Elwyn Denman of Family First; Dale Chorley, Katter's Australia Party; Anthony Mackin, Rise Up Australia Party; Shannon Deguara, Australian Independents and Clare Rudkin for the Greens.
Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll is hoping to return to Canberra, but the LNP's Andrew Nguyen is confident of a strong showing.
Other candidates include Frank Karg, of the Democratic Labor Party; Martin Stephenson, the Greens; Kathleen Hewitt, Katter's Australia Party; Scott Moerland, Rise Up Australia Party; Ricky Yue Mun Tang, Palmer's United Party and Carrie McCormack, Family First.
At the last election Mr Ripoll won teh seat with 55.77 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.
Sitting LNP candidate Steve Buccholz is expected to be re-elected in Wright by a wide margin.
Last election he defeated Labor candidate Andrew Ramsay 60.15 per cent to 39.85 in the two-party preferred vote.
Polling booths open at 8pm and close at 6pm.
Blair: Coalition $1.80, Labor $1.90
Oxley: Labor $1.29, Coalition $3.20
Wright: Coalition $1.01, Labor $21