THE LNP was describing Fairfax too close to call last night, but almost everyone else including Clive Palmer saw it as a historic win for his fledgling party.
With 60.1% of the vote and 41 of 43 polling places returned, the LNP's Ted O'Brien had 39.88% of the primary vote ahead of Mr Palmer on 28.02% and Labor's Elaine Hughes on 18.16%.
Mr Palmer also remains confident his candidate in Fisher Bill Schoch will win on preferences.
A spokesman said the party also was eyeing wins in Hinkler and Wright and would get its lead Queensland candidate Glenn Lazarus into the Senate.
The Australian Electoral Commission suspended the normal and nominal two-party preferred distribution of preferences declaring Fairfax a "maverick division" because of the powerful showing by the Palmer United Party leader.
Mr Palmer had earlier threatened the Australian Electoral Commission with a High Court challenge saying that by it publishing a two-party preference distribution between Labor and the LNP which ignored his performance threatened to influence voters before polls had closed in Western Australia.
The ABC last night had Mr Palmer leading 51.8% to Mr O'Brien's 48.2%, an 8.8% swing away from the LNP on the 2010 result when Alex Somlyay, the then sitting member was the candidate.
What did you think of the local election campaign?
This poll ended on 08 September 2014.
A big pain. Glad it’s finished.
No big deal. A necessary process.
Sad it’s over. I’ll miss the fun and games
Election? What election?
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr O'Brien last night described the result as too close to call with pre-poll and postal votes still to be counted. He said regardless of the Fairfax result it had been a great day for the Coalition.
"The federal result means that adults will be back in the room,'' he said.
"I'm delighted a declaration has been made in Wide Bay with Warren Truss being re-elected.
"Fairfax is the final piece of the puzzle.
"I've got no comment about whether I expected it to be this tight.
"I've stuck to our campaign strategy and avoided looking at polls. I'll wait and see. It certainly is a very different result than what we've seen in Fairfax.
"Ultimately the people will decide.''
Mr O'Brien spent last night with campaign workers at the Buderim Bowls Club, while Mr Palmer was bunkered down with 250 supporters and campaign workers at his Captain's Table restaurant at Palmer's Coolum Resort. Mr O'Brien said there could be no greater honour than to serve your peers in the local community.
"The starting point is to represent your party,'' he said.
"My effort for Fairfax has been shared by an army of volunteers who want to see a strong economy and a better Australia.''
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