Wade Rothery (One Nation) at the candidates forum at CQ University.
Wade Rothery (One Nation) at the candidates forum at CQ University. Chris Ison

ROCKHAMPTON VOTES: Rothery 'over the moon' with result

THE Morning Bulletin has its finger on the pulse of this state election and the candidate's phone numbers on speed dial so we'll be updating this page as every result and comment is revealed. Strap in and keep on refreshing this page.

SUNDAY 5PM: SHE wasn't speaking to media today, but win or lose independent candidate Margaret Strelow has sent an unforgettable message to Queensland Labor. 

With just over 80 per cent of the roll counted at 4.43pm Sunday, Ms Strelow was sitting on 23.73 per cent of the primary vote, second to Labor's Barry O'Rourke on 31.98 per cent.   

One Nation's Wade Rothery was also still in the running, with 21.16 per cent of the vote.    Given the tight figures, Rockhampton's result will come down to preferences and likely won't be decided for some days yet.   

Margaret Strelow watches election results with her granddaughter.
Margaret Strelow watches election results with her granddaughter. Michelle Gately

Ms Strelow posted a thank you message on her public Facebook page this afternoon, saying she wouldn't make "any media statement until we have clarity about the result".   

"The result of the election is simply too close to call."  

Earlier on Saturday the evening Mr O'Rourke told The Morning Bulletin it was early days and he would just wait to see how the vote unfolded.   

Today, his message was the same and he wasn't willing to make comments on the outcome. 

Whatever the outcome, Mr Rothery was thrilled to have stolen so many votes from the major parties.   

Why did the LNP fail in the 2017 state election?

This poll ended on 04 December 2017.

Current Results

Labor did a good job for Queensland and deserved to be re-elected.


The Adani $1b loan had to be stopped.


Renewables (Labor has a 50% target for 2030 ) will provide us with cheaper power as coal is phased out.


The ghost of Campbell Newman (Labor’s job cut scare campaign) frightened me.


I didn’t trust Tim Nicholls.


The local LNP candidate didn’t inspire me.


The quality of the Labor candidate inspired me.


Labor’s policies were better than LNP.


Labor’s election pledges for my community were better than the LNP’s.


I support the Cross River Rail project.


Job security.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"I'm stoked with the support I've been given from the people of Rockhampton," he told The Morning Bulletin.   "If I'm unsuccessful this time ... I'll be ready for the next one.   

"Even if I don't win, it's making the two bigger parties be accountable and giving the people of Rockhampton another option. I had a lot of support.  

"To be where I am on my first ever attempt at going into politics, I'm over the moon with it."  

Mr Rodgers, who only scored 17.7 per cent of the vote, said the LNP had succeeded in turning the safe Labor seat marginal, potentially even removing them from power.  

"We were running to make the seat marginal and we've done even more than that," he said.  

"I'm very proud of my volunteers, I think we ran a great campaign. We've been running a campaign for months in Rockhampton and to ignore that I don't think would be giving us the full credit that we're due"   

SUNDAY 12.30PM: COUNTING continues in Rockhampton, with the margins between the three leaders remaining narrow. 

The Electoral Commission data as at 11.50am shows Mr O'Rourke still leads on 31.98 per cent of the vote. 

Ms Strelow is on 23.8 per cent and Mr Rothery on 21.09 per cent with 82.06 per cent of votes counted. 

10.30pm: ALTHOUGH Labor is ahead in the polls, the ABC's election expert Antony Green has said he believes independent Margaret Strelow will sneak over the line on preferences. 

As at 9.50pm Mr O'Rourke was ahead on 31.78 per cent and Ms Strelow on 23.75 per cent with 79.21 per cent of the vote counted. 

Mr Rothery was on 21.32 per cent and Mr Rodgers on 17.62 per cent. 

Speaking to ABC, Ms Strelow said her advice from scrutineers was that preferences weren't following "any rhyme or reason". 

"Look at the One Nation vote here in Rockhampton," she said. 

"It's quite extraordinary that between One Nation and myself our primary votes are better than Labor and a long way greater than that and I think that speaks to a lot of frustration, mostly aimed at the Labor Party here but they're representative of what the majors have done."

9.10pm: LABOR candidate for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke has had a huge day, visiting every booth in his electorate.

Mr O'Rourke said he felt it was important to get out and thank every person who had volunteered on the campaign.

He said it was very early days for the count in Rockhampton, but was confident Labor be returned to power.

At 9pm, the AEC results had Mr O'Rourke on 31.97 per cent, followed by Ms Strelow on 23.75 per cent with 51.58 per cent of the booths counted.

Mr Rothery was sitting on 20.98 per cent, followed by Mr Rodgers on 16.94 per cent.

Barry O'Rourke on election:
Barry O'Rourke on election:

7.45pm: MARGARET Strelow says it's too early to tell who will end up winning the seat of Rockhampton with preference votes to play a big role in the seat.

The independent candidate addressed the question to a Rockhampton media conference about 7pm tonight. 

She said she spent the day at Rockhampton's biggest polling centre - Waraburra State School.

Mrs Strelow said most people walked straight in, not taking pamphlets from supporters of any candidate, which indicated they knew what they were doing.

Margaret Strelow on election night: Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow talks to the media about the results so far at about 7pm on election night.
Margaret Strelow on election night: Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow talks to the media about the results so far at about 7pm on election night.

Waraburra State School is in Gracemere where residents have been calling for a High School for many years with the only Rockhampton candidate to not commit to a high school, or reinvestigate the need for one, being the ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke.

The AEC results at 7.35pm had Mr O'Rourke at 30.98% of the vote counted so far (39.54%) and Mrs Strelow with 24.09%, One Nation candidate Wade Rothery with 20.65%, LNP candidate Douglas Rodgers 17.49% and Greens candidate Kate Giamarelos with 6.8%.

7.21pm: The distance between Margaret Strelow and Barry O'Rourke has spread a bit again with 21.7% of the votes now counted.

Mr O'Rourke has received 30.86% of the votes while Mrs Strelow has 24.49%. LNP candidate 18.32%.

7.10pm: INDEPENDENT candidate Margaret Strelow is catching up to ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke in the race for the seat of Rockhampton.

In Galaxy polling a couple of weeks ago, just after she announced her candidacy, Independent Margaret Strelow was polling 14 per cent.

Vote count for Rockhampton as 12.7% of the votes counted
Vote count for Rockhampton as 12.7% of the votes counted

Although we're still early in the count, in an amazing result, Ms Strelow has 25 per cent of the vote, beating LNP 21 percent and One Nation 17 per cent (whose votes have both slipped since the poll).

If these parties finish third and fourth, their preferences could potentially put Ms Strelow ahead of Labor's Barry O'Rourke who is currently sitting on 29 per cent.

7pm: MORE votes have been counted for the seat of Rockhampton with ALP's Barry O'Rourke still leading the race with 31.46% of the votes with 5.7% of the votes counted so far.

Margaret Strelow is not far behind with 25.77% of the votes and LNP's Douglas Rodgers has 18.36 of the votes.

6.45PM: The first count of votes are in for Rockhampton with ALP's Barry O'Rourke in front so far.

Mr O'Rourke has recieved 201 of 582 votes counted so far, with Independent Margaret Strelow in second place with 141 votes and LNP candidate Douglas Rodgers has 114 votes



ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke outside Waraburra State School in Gracemere before the polling booths opened.
ALP candidate Barry O'Rourke outside Waraburra State School in Gracemere before the polling booths opened. Kerri-Anne Mesner

IT'S pens down, hats off as candidates and their supporters pack up for the day and head to post election day functions across the region.

The Morning Bulletin caught up with three candidates throughout the day - Independent candidate Margaret Strelow, Labor's Barry O'Rourke and LNP candidate Douglas Rodgers - who were all being sunsmart wearing long sleeved shirts and hats as they greeted voters at polling centres.

LNP candidate for Rockhampton Douglas Rodgers
LNP candidate for Rockhampton Douglas Rodgers Kerri-Anne Mesner


Mr O'Rourke had a busy day handing out how to vote cards at polling booths around Rockhampton.

He said he received a generally positive reception from people but it was difficult to tell how people were inclined with their voting given they were talking in to vote without accepting how to vote cards from anyone.

"I'm expecting it to come down to the wire tonight," he said.

Mr O'Rourke will be attending a function at Callaghan Park Racecourse watching the election results roll out.

Check out The Morning Bulletin reporter Leighton Smith's wrap for the election for the Rockhampton seat: Election wrap: Drama will continue as Rocky votes counted