'Gobsmacked': Minor parties react to Dawson loss
That is how both the Dawson One Nation and Katter's Australian Party candidates described their reaction to Dawson electorate results as they rolled in tonight.
The minor parties, which expected to chip away at rusted on LNP voters, were shocked to see George Christensen not only hold his margin - but grow it by more than 10 per cent.
"The information from the community was that they weren't happy. But at the ballot they obviously said something different," Katter's Australian Party candidate Brendan Bunyan said.
Mr Bunyan said it was always difficult to challenge such a well-known candidate.
"Its hard to overturn an incumbent".
"(But) I thought Dawson was ready for a change for the better."
Mr Bunyan, One Nation candidate Debra Lawson and Independent Lachlan Queenan hosted a joint minor party election watching party at the Marque Bar and Grill, Mackay.
With only 15 people at the election watching party, Mr Bunyan said the small event was simply because "everyone's tired".
As the results became more certain of a significant a swing to Mr Christensen, the candidates became more sullen.
With more than two-thirds of the votes counted, Ms Lawson was sitting on 13.05 per cent of first preferences.
She called Mr Christensen's swing "disappointing".
Mr Bunyan, who had gathered 6.28 per cent of first preferences, added "it's fine to be disappointed".
The deflated looking candidate said "to be on the big stage, you're always going to be disappointed if you don't do well".
Mr Queenan was teased by fellow minor party candidates for being lost for words while watching the results.
"I find it hard to believe that George had such a swing, and such a significant swing," Mr Queenan said.
Mr Queenan said there was "still major discontent" in the community.
"Sort of," Mr Bunyan replied.
At one point during the election watching event, Mr Bunyan looked up from his phone to announced to KAP volunteers "I can't believe in Capricornia the Greens are getting more than Katter's Australian Party".
With Mr Christensen's overseas trips a consistent point of contention in the election, Mr Bunyan joked to volunteers "my next campaign I'm going to run from overseas".
The frustration of the minor parties was clear.
"People just don't get it," Mr Bunyan said.
"People mustn't be hurting enough".
"How much more do they need?" Ms Lawson asked.