Federal election too close to call in Macquarie

UPDATE Tuesday 8am: Liberal Party candidate Sarah Richards leads Labor MP Susan Templeman by 50 votes with 86.63 per cent counted.

UPDATE Monday 6.20pm: Another update from the AEC has the margin narrowing to just 12 votes, with Liberal candidate Sarah Richards still in the lead.

Monday 5.15pm: Liberal candidate Sarah Richards has regained the lead in Macquarie by a slim 23 votes in the latest figures posted by the Australian Electoral Commission. Eighty-six per cent of the vote has now been counted, with more postal votes to come plus thousands of absentee votes yet to be counted.

Sunday 10.00pm: With counting finished for the day, Labor MP Susan Templeman has seen her lead reduced to 312 votes, but with 84 per cent of the vote counted there is still a way to go before a result will be known.

Sunday 2.00pm: With 82 per cent of the vote counted in Macquarie, Australian Electoral Commission figures have Labor's Susan Templeman leading Liberal Party candidate Sarah Richards by 620 votes. Still too close to call (there are 108,039 eligible voters in Macquarie).

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Liberal candidate Sarah Richards hugs supporters after saying the vote was too close to call. At 10pm Ms Richards was ahead in the polls, however.

Liberal candidate Sarah Richards hugs supporters after saying the vote was too close to call. At 10pm Ms Richards was ahead in the polls, however.

10.08pm: Liberal candidate Sarah Richards has addressed cheering party faithful at Panthers, also saying the vote in Macquarie is too close to call. She was introduced by Senator Marise Payne, who said Ms Richards had done an "absolutely amazing job" as a candidate.

Ms Richards said she was very excited "because right now in Macquarie we are ahead.

"There are still a lot of votes to count and right now Macquarie is too close to call," she said.

"But what I want to do is thank the community of Macquarie, every single one of those voters, every single person who lives in the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains who put their faith in me and put their vote behind me."

Labor supporters react as Susan Templeman addresses them at Springwood's Royal Hotel on election night.

Labor supporters react as Susan Templeman addresses them at Springwood's Royal Hotel on election night.

9.44pm: Highlights of Susan Templeman's address to Labor supporters: "We had some really positive swings in the Blue Mountains and some not so positive moves in the Hawkesbury but it's going to come down to those 30,000 pre-poll votes. They are crucial to decide who will be the next Member for Macquarie - and we're going to stick in there and count every one of those votes. We won't know tonight but let's keep hoping."

"I think the big message here though, for all of us, is that it looks like we're close to seeing fear override hope and that is a sad day for Australia as well as Macquarie... We had a great vision for the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury and we'll keep on having that vision."

Ms Templeman thanked all her volunteers and party members, especially those who worked on the pre-poll sites for three weeks. She also thanked the unions who supported her campaign.

In thanking her staff by name, she concluded: "They have worked their guts out for this and we will hang in there and see what tomorrow brings. I want everyone to be really proud of what we've done - of the vision we have given, particularly for people in the Hawkesbury, that they can be well represented, that they can have an MP who cares and will get out there and do things for them. The Blue Mountains has always had that when it's had Labor representatives. It's been really well represented and we're so lucky that [State Blue Mountains Labor MP] Trish Doyle is still in there representing us and our [Blue Mountains Labor] mayor and our wonderful councillors. But the Hawkesbury is still learning this and I'm very proud to be able to show them what a real local member does - and hopefully get the chance to keep doing it."

Melissa McIntosh has become the new MP for the neighbouring seat of Lindsay.

Melissa McIntosh has become the new MP for the neighbouring seat of Lindsay.

9.24pm: Wild cheering, chants of "ScoMo, ScoMo" and "McIntosh, McIntosh" filled the room at the Liberal Party's western Sydney HQ at Panthers as Melissa McIntosh announced Labor had conceded the neighbouring seat of Lindsay. Ms McIntosh was introduced to the crowd by Penrith MP Stuart Ayres.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman addresses supporters at Springwood's Royal Hotel.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman addresses supporters at Springwood's Royal Hotel.

9.22pm: Susan Templeman has just addressed supporters at Springwood's Royal Hotel, saying the vote is very close and we won't know the result tonight. It will come down to the 30,000 pre-poll votes.

8.22pm: Sarah Richards' supporters have turned out in force at Panthers, however the candidate herself has not yet arrived in the room. Fellow Hawkesbury Liberal councillor Nathan Zamprogno is present to lend his support.

Supporters of Susan Templeman begin to fill Springwood's Royal Hotel to watch the count.

Supporters of Susan Templeman begin to fill Springwood's Royal Hotel to watch the count.

7.19pm: Springwood's Royal Hotel is slowly becoming a sea of red as volunteers prepare to watch the count.

The room is prepared at Panthers for the Liberal Party event.

The room is prepared at Panthers for the Liberal Party event.

6pm: As polls close for the 2019 federal election, workers are preparing the room for a joint election event at Panthers for several Liberal candidates, including Macquarie's Sarah Richards.

Liberal candidate Sarah Richards casts her vote at Bligh Park. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Liberal candidate Sarah Richards casts her vote at Bligh Park. Picture: Geoff Jones.

10.36am: Liberal candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards has cast her vote at Bligh Park.

Labor MP for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, casts her vote at Winmalee at 8.30am on election day.

Labor MP for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, casts her vote at Winmalee at 8.30am on election day.

8.30am: Macquarie MP Susan Templeman casts her vote early at the Winmalee High School polling booth on election day. She stopped to chat to voters and volunteers during her visit.

Sarah Richards with her "dad and crew" at North Richmond on election morning. Photo: Facebook.

Sarah Richards with her "dad and crew" at North Richmond on election morning. Photo: Facebook.

Liberal candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, started the day at North Richmond with her "dad and the crew", she posted on her campaign's Facebook page (she will be voting later in the morning).

Winmalee residents Howard and Mary Cox get ready to cast their vote at Australia House in London.

Winmalee residents Howard and Mary Cox get ready to cast their vote at Australia House in London.

8.15am: Winmalee residents Howard and Mary Cox cast their votes at Australia House, London on Friday - one of 85 overseas voting centres. At the 2016 federal election, Australia House was Australia's largest overseas voting centre with 15,663 votes cast there. (The Coxes are holidaying in Europe).

8.00am: We'll bring you Macquarie election updates from the tally room tonight and will have reporters at both the Liberal and Labor parties.

In the meantime, a few facts from the 2016 poll (contested by sitting Liberal Louise Markus and the ALP's Susan Templeman).

Susan Templeman won 52.2 per cent of the vote, to Ms Markus's 47.8 per cent after preferences were distributed.

Ms Templeman clearly benefited from those preferences, as she received 35.5 of the primary vote to Ms Markus's 38.2 per cent.

Ms Templeman won in every Mountains booth. She also won in four Hawkesbury booths - Bligh Park East, Kurrajong East, St Albans and Windsor South. Ms Markus won the remaining Hawkesbury booths.

Ms Templeman's best booth was Katoomba Centre, where she won 76.5 per cent.

Ms Markus's best was Tennyson, where she won 80.3 per cent. This booth has now been abolished (it had just 203 formal votes cast).

Two other booths have been abolished for this election - one at Mt Wilson (with just 60 votes cast last time) and one at Medlow Bath (with 464 votes).

Candidates in 2016 (in addition to ALP and Liberal) included the Animal Justice Party, Australian Liberty Alliance, Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group), Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, the Greens, Liberal Democrats and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

This year, there are candidates (in addition to ALP and Liberal) for the Greens, the Animal Justice Party and United Australia Party.

This story BLOG | Macquarie decides 2019 first appeared on Blue Mountains Gazette.