BIG IDEAS: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has always had grandiose plans.
BIG IDEAS: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has always had grandiose plans. DAVE HUNT - AAP

Palmer's lead collapses to 13 votes as Fairfax count goes on

THE gap between Clive Palmer and Ted O'Brien has narrowed to just 13 votes after first collapsing to 33 this morning then rebounding to 40 in a volatile day of counting in the full distribution of preferences continued in Fairfax, one of only two Queensland federal electorates still to be declared.

Mr Palmer had held a 42-vote margin over the LNP's Mr O'Brien through the weekend.

Fairfax Returning Officer David McKenzie said he expected the full preference distribution to be completed tomorrow.

The identification of a series of small errors in the count this morning all have gone Mr O'Brien's way today, closing the gap first to 39 and then 36 before settling at 33 at 11am.

By 11.30am Mr Palmer had regained all but two votes of his lead before seeing it collapse to just 27 at noon.

Just before 1pm it narrowed again to 19 votes separating the pair. Most recently, the gap narrowed to 13.

Mr McKenzie said had the completion of the full distribution a decision will be made whether the rigor of the process negates the need for a full recount.



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