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Glasson comes close to being MP

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Former AMA President Dr Bill Glasson has narrowly lost his second attempt to win the seat held by former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Dr Glasson, who received strong backing from Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his bid to win the seat, secured a swing of 1.32 per cent in the by-election held on 8 February, coming within 2600 votes of defeating first-time Labor candidate Terri Butler.

The swing came on top of a strong showing in last September’s Federal election, when Dr Glasson secured a 5.4 per cent swing against Mr Rudd – almost 1 percentage point greater than the national average.

The by-election was called after Mr Rudd resigned from Parliament.

For several days following this month’s poll, Dr Glasson refused to concede as counting showed the margin between the two major party candidates was tight.

But by 11 February it became clear he would not muster sufficient votes to secure the seat, and he admitted defeat.

In a statement, the ophthalmologist and former AMA President said that “I have now returned to my medical practice, and will continue working with the disadvantaged people in remote Queensland and overseas”.

The close-run result has buoyed the Federal Government after a string a polls since the Federal election had shown that much of its election-winning support had evaporated – though Newspoll last week reported a sharp downturn in the approval rating of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten since the start of the year.

Adrian Rollins