Sore loser Liberal ex-minister is DENIED a recount in seat he lost to Labor MP by just 373 votes – finding himself unemployed after bailing on state politics
- Andrew Constance denied recount of razor tight federal seat of Gilmore
- He lost to Labor incumbent Fiona Phillips by just 373 votes after long counting
- Mr Constance was NSW transport minister until he quit to run for federal seat
A request for a recount in the NSW seat of Gilmore has been knocked back by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Liberal candidate for the seat, Andrew Constance, wrote a letter to the commission asking for the recount, citing concerns about the scrutineering of informal votes.
‘Given the close result, I believe there are strong grounds for a recount and I have submitted a request to the Australian electoral commissioner,’ Mr Constance said on Tuesday.
Mr Constance, who was NSW transport minister until he quit state politics to run for Gilmore, lost to Labor incumbent Fiona Phillips by just 373 votes.
Andrew Constance has been denied recount of razor tight federal seat of Gilmore (pictured on election day there)
Mr Constance, who was NSW transport minister until he quit state politics to run for Gilmore, lost to Labor incumbent Fiona Phillips (pictured) by just 373 votes
The seat was set to be formally declared on Tuesday, but the declaration was postponed in light of the recount request.
However, Ms Phillips said the request had not been accepted.
‘The AEC have advised me this morning that Andrew Constance’s application for a recount in Gilmore has been denied,’ she said on Twitter.
‘The details for the AEC Gilmore poll declaration will be announced shortly.’
An electoral commission spokesman said the request for a recount was carefully considered, with the counting process for Gilmore carried out in line with electoral laws.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison visited a local business in Gilmore with Mr Constance, a star Liberal candidate, on the first day of the election campaign
The Liberals had a 2.44 per cent swing in the NSW south coast seat, which bucked the national trend, however, Mr Constance fell 0.2 per cent short.
A recount in the electorate would have automatically been triggered if there were fewer than 100 votes between first and second placed candidates.
The final result in the House of Representatives is expected to be 77 seats for Labor, 58 for the coalition, four Greens, 10 independents, one Katter’s Australian Party MP and one Centre Alliance MP.