The legitimacy of more than half the votes cast in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax has been challenged by Clive Palmer's legal team in a lengthy process that may leave the seat unrepresented when parliament resumes early next month.Which begs the question how often Palmer needs to win his seat before he finally concedes he's won and heads to parliament.
Fairfax is the only seat still undecided, with the massive number of challenges brought by Mr Palmer's scrutineers -- who are paid employees of law firm HopgoodGanim -- the main reason for the delay.
The recount started last week after Mr Palmer finished seven votes ahead of the Liberal National Party's Ted O'Brien. Under Australian Electoral Commission rules, there is an automatic recount when the margin is less than 100 votes.
In what had previously been the closest election count in modern electoral history, the recount for the Victorian seat of McEwen in 2007, there were 643 contested votes out of approximately 100,000 cast.
AEC figures late yesterday show that of the 89,167 votes being recounted, 47,135 have been challenged and given to the district returning officer for a determination.
He also said the "vast majority" of challenges had come from representatives of the Palmer United Party. There was some movement in the public tally yesterday, with figures published on the AEC website showing Mr Palmer now 20 votes ahead.
Was it all a gag, he didn't mean it?
Or is he itching to take the AEC to court?
Either way, he's wasting everyone's time and money.
Costly recount puts Clive's tilt in limbo