TED O'Brien looks increasingly on course to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Fairfax with a likely margin of more than 100 votes.
He is now just 64 votes behind Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer but on trend can expect to finish around 133 votes ahead.
Tuesday morning's count confirmed the view that Mr Palmer's chances of winning are diminishing as the final few thousand votes are tallied.
While remaining absentee votes that now number 780 continue to fall his way at the ratio of 57.01% to Mr O'Brien's 42.99, pre-poll and postal ballots are flowing strongly to the LNP.
There are 908 pre-poll votes still to be counted. They are now falling 57.47% to Mr O'Brien and 42.53% to Mr Palmer.
It is expected that around 62.25% of the remaining 969 postal ballots will also go to Mr O'Brien.
Remaining in doubt is the fate of 692 provisional votes.
Whatever the outcome Mr Palmer has signaled he will go to the High Court's court of disputed returns to have the entire count placed under judicial scrutiny.
Late Tuesday, Mr Palmer called for a recount in the seat.
Mr Palmer said he had formally requested the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) recount votes in the Sunshine Coast electorate of Fairfax due to the evidence of alleged vote tampering and irregularities with the counting process.
"Although I still hold a slender lead in Fairfax at this time, I have formally requested the AEC undertake a recount due to the evidence we have found of major voting discrepancies," he said.
"It would seem on the basis of the evidence that a fraud has been committed and that the AEC is now seeking to cover up this matter by creating and/or transferring ballots between booths."
Mr Palmer said postal votes and pre-poll votes were also favouring his LNP opponent Ted O'Brien by an implausibly large ratio and the integrity of the process had been marred by lax or non-existent security over precast ballots.
Palmer should offer 'grovelling'' apology to AEC staff
NICK Xenophon has called on would-be MP Clive Palmer to give a "grovelling, unqualified apology" to the Australian Electoral Commission following his allegations that the AEC and its staff were involved in electoral fraud.
Mr Palmer, candidate for the seat of Fairfax, asserted on the ABC's Q&A program last night: "I think they (the AEC) are rorting the polling booth system" referring to a seeming anomaly where there were more than 700 votes in the House of Representatives in the seat of Fairfax than for the Senate.
Mr Palmer said: "It doesn't matter how people vote; I am saying the total number of ballots in the Senate box were 760 less than the total number of ballots in the House of Representatives box and that indicates there has been interference in that House of Representatives box and not in the Senate."
The AEC has issued a statement saying approximately 750 votes were wrongly published on the Virtual Tally Room against the wrong pre-poll voting centre, and the error has no impact on the positions of the candidates involved.
The South Australian independent senator said Mr Palmer has also alleged a conspiracy of ex-military personnel who work for the AEC being involved in rorting-comparing them to the military in dictatorships.
"Clive Palmer would simply be a national laughing stock if his comments didn't impugn the integrity of the AEC," Mr Xenephon said.
"This follows his previous unsubstantiated and baseless statements that Greenpeace is funded by the CIA and Wendy Deng is a Chinese spy.
"Clive Palmer needs to pull his head in and provide an unqualified apology to the AEC and its staff.
"He also claimed on Q&A a court had 'agreed' with him yesterday on the issue-that's just not true. A Federal Court did not grant him an injunction to suspend counting in Fairfax and counting continues as it should.
"If he really had a problem with it, Clive Palmer should have gone about making a complaint in the proper way, through the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns.
"The integrity and decency of the AEC is beyond question, and to publicly impugn divisional returning officers simply because they're former military officers is grossly offensive to both serving and former military officers."
Sorting error blamed for missing Fairfax votes
A SORTING error has been blamed for a discrepancy of 768 votes in the tightly contested seat of Fairfax which has prompted Clive Palmer to call for a fresh election.
All Fairfax candidates were informed late on Friday about the anomaly that showed 3966 House of Representatives ballot papers were lodged but only 3198 for the Senate, a gap of 768 votes.
A spokesman for the Australian Electoral Commission said a sorting error during election night counting had been detected during "normal quality control checking processes".
"The anomaly detected makes no difference to the total number of first preference votes already recorded for each candidate in the Division of Fairfax, and also has no impact on the relative position of the candidates in the two-candidate preferred count currently proceeding,'' the spokesman said.
Mr Palmer claimed there is 'massive' evidence mounting of vote tampering.
The Palmer United Party leader unsuccessfully sought a court injunction to uphold the integrity of the counting process, citing alleged tampering by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
"Although I hold a slender lead in Fairfax at this time, the best thing to do in the name of democracy would be to suspend counting and call a fresh election under the tightest possible scrutiny,'' he said in a second statement on the issue on Monday afternoon.
"What we are seeing unfolding in Fairfax is a rigged election. The ballots have no security and the AEC is a national disgrace that needs to be held accountable.
"The AEC wanted to alter documentation showing the discrepancy. Our lawyers approached the Federal Court this morning for urgent relief and in response the AEC has given undertakings to the court that they will preserve the original documentation."
Palmer claims 768 ballots went missing from Coolum
Mr Palmer said 768 ballots had gone "missing" from the pre-polling voting centre at Coolum Beach and turning up at Buderim.
Mr Palmer has received correspondence from Divisional Returning Officer for Fairfax, David McKenzie, confirming an inconsistency in voting figures of 768 votes between the House of Representatives and the Senate counts for the Coolum booth.
Mr Palmer said the AEC has admitted that the discrepancy was found to be counter-balanced with a difference of around 768 votes for the House of Representatives and the Senate for the Buderim pre poll voting centre.
"What a farce,'' Mr Palmer said.
"Although I hold a slender lead in Fairfax at this time, the best thing to do in the name of democracy would be to suspend counting and call a fresh election under the tightest possible scrutiny.
"What we are seeing unfolding in Fairfax is a rigged election. The ballots have no security and the AEC is a national disgrace that needs to be held accountable."
The latest figures show Mr Palmer is now just 209 votes ahead of LNP candidate Ted O'Brien.
Mr Palmer had 50.13% of the two party preferred vote (39,879 votes), after preferences, while Mr O'Brien had 49.87% or 39,670.
Mr O'Brien had 41.54% of the primary vote, ahead of Mr Palmer on 26.6% while Labor's Elaine Hughes had 18.07% of the first vote.
Last week, Mr Palmer called for a full review of Australia's voting system after citing irregularities.
In that instance Mr Palmer said postal votes and pre-poll votes were favouring Mr O'Brien by an implausibly large ratio and the integrity of the process had been marred by lax or non-existent security over precast ballots.
Mr O'Brien declined to comment on Mr Palmer's claims.
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