Dawson MP George Christensen celebrates his 2019 Federal Election win with his fiancee April, family, friends and supporters.
Dawson MP George Christensen celebrates his 2019 Federal Election win with his fiancee April, family, friends and supporters. Caitlan Charles

Election losers say political dreams not dead

AS THE winners swept up the confetti and balloons from their election parties, the unsuccessful candidates who saw their political dreams crushed at the weekend started to ask the sobering question - what happens next?

On Saturday Labor candidate Belinda Hassan conceded the seat of Dawson to the LNP incumbent George Christensen after she secured just 20.6 per cent of first preference votes.

Ms Hassan told her supporters and volunteers said she would take a couple of days off to reassess what her next move would be.

"I have a job to get back to and my community service will continue. My community commitments won't change,” Ms Hassan said.

But two of her minor party rivals have already announced that their focus has shifted from Canberra to Brisbane.

Unsuccessful at the Federal level, One Nation candidate, Deb Lawson, said on election night she would be interested in a state seat.

Dawson candidate Deb Lawson.
Dawson candidate Deb Lawson. Emma Murray

Ms Lawson, who gained 12.9 per cent of first preference votes, said she would be in contact with the party's state head office.

As the election results ticked through on Saturday evening, Katter's Australian Party candidate Brendan Bunyan said his focus had already moved "straight to state”.

Mr Bunyan said he was looking to challenge Burdekin MP Dale Last for his marginal North Queensland seat.

Dawson candidate Brendan Bunyan.
Dawson candidate Brendan Bunyan. Emma Murray

The Ayr resident said he was determined to challenge in the LNP-held seat of Burdekin. It's a potentially vulnerable seat. In the 2017 state election Mr Last won from Labor by just 467 votes.

The jump from campaign to campaign is not an ego trip for Mr Bunyan who said, "You don't get in it just for yourself. You do it for your community”.

With a young family, Mr Bunyan said the biggest concern was leaving his wife "holding down the fort”.

"It's one thing to speak to a crowd, it's another to look after two little kids,” he said.

"It's a big ask (of her). But, one of the reasons I'm doing it is for their future”.

Despite Clive Palmer's party gaining no seats in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, his Dawson candidate Colin Thompson was surprisingly optimistic about the results.

"I'm quite pleased with the election. It's all about laying the foundations,” the United Australia Party candidate said.

Dawson United Australia Party candidate Colin Thompson was handing out how-to-vote cards in Cannonvale and Proserpine today.
Dawson United Australia Party candidate Colin Thompson. Monique Preston

Mr Thompson said he was pleased to have gained 4.9 per cent of the first preferences, but he added "we would have liked a little more”.

This week the party would meet to debrief and strategise after their election defeat, he said.

While Mr Thompson said he was keen to run for a Queensland seat, he said the party had not confirmed if they would mount a challenge in the state election.

For now, he said, he was focused on "my job that puts food on my table”.

Democratic Labour Party candidate Ann-Maree Ware said she was proud to have gained 3.1 per cent of the vote.

"We can only more forward,” Ms Ware said.

The minor party candidate could not confirm if she was contemplating another political campaign.

"I only think in the now. Who knows what will come in the future. At this point in time I would consider running,” she said.

While other minor party candidate are looking at the next election, Independent Lachlan Queenan said he only had eyes for Canberra.

Dawson candidate Lachlan Queenan.
Dawson candidate Lachlan Queenan. Emma Murray

He'll have to wait three years until the next federal campaign, but he said "I won't be back at the local elections. I'll be back at the federal level”.

As a first-time candidate Mr Queenan gained 2108 votes, barely more than the candidate for Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party.

With even the party's leader failing to win a Senate seat, Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party candidate Michael Turner said he was "a bit disappointed” with the election results.

Mr Turner said he had expected to get more than 1512 votes, or 1.9 per cent of first preference votes in Dawson.

"That's the way it goes. But I'll keep pushing forward with the party,” he said.

He plans to run again at federal level, but added "I'll have to talk to Fraser about state”.

"My word I'll be running and running hard. It will be bigger and better next time”.