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Australia votes: ‘Lost’ ballots threaten Mirabella

Lost cause: Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella is struggling to hold on to the once-safe seat of Indi.

McGowan takes lead as once-lost votes count against Mirabella

General News logo11 Sep 2013

SOPHIE Mirabella’s chances of being appointed federal manufacturing minister are looking less likely after a batch of more than 1000 uncounted votes were unearthed.

The Australian reported this afternoon that 1003 misplaced votes for independent candidate Cathy McGowan – who is standing against Ms Mirabella for the northern Victorian seat of Indi – were found at the Wangaratta pre-polling station.

The former safe Liberal seat of Indi is still undecided as Ms Mirabella faced a big voter backlash in Saturday’s polls, with Ms McGowan now looking more likely to depose the incumbent, who has earned her stripes as Tony Abbott’s long-serving shadow industry minister.

The latest polling figures posted by the Australian Electoral Commission show Ms Mirabella holding 45 per cent of the primary vote, although only 48 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote.

In contrast, Ms McGowan polled 32 per cent of the primary vote, but has taken the lead in the two-candidate preferred vote with a 51.8 per cent share.

Mr Abbott is expected to name his new cabinet shortly after his swearing-in ceremony as prime minister on Monday.

The extra batch of votes for Ms McGowan means Ms Mirabella will trail in the polls by 1773 votes, with more postal votes yet to be counted.

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