FINALLY: New Coast MPs are official
IT'S TAKEN 25 days but the Sunshine Coast finally has its new leaders.
Ted O'Brien and Andrew Wallace have been officially declared victors of the July 2 Federal Election by Australian Electoral Commission officers in Maroochydore.
The final results were commanding for the two new LNP members.
Mr O'Brien finished more than 20,000 votes clear of his Labor rival Scott Anderson after preferences, finishing with 56,299 votes to Mr Anderson's 36,164.
It means Mr O'Brien was finally given the keys to the Fairfax electorate office he narrowly missed out on to mining magnate Clive Palmer back in 2013.
In Fisher, former barrister Andrew Wallace will swap courtrooms for corridors of power, replacing outgoing MP Mal Brough.
Mr Wallace was also officially declared victor, finishing with 49,473 votes after preferences to see off the challenge from Labor's Bill Gissane who claimed 34,292 votes after preferences.
Both successful candidates - now MPs - thanked AEC staff for their efforts.
Mr Wallace made it clear he hoped there would be change to the vote counting system in future, praising the work of AEC staff despite the constraints of the current system which has seen almost a month pass without the Coast having AEC confirmation of its MPs.
Mr O'Brien thanked his wife Sophia, mother Bernice, family and the team that helped him claim victory, before praising the approach taken by all candidates throughout the campaign.
"I pledge to do my very best, to be honest... and to work hard," Mr O'Brien said, pledging to put his region above party politics."
A number of unsuccessful candidates, including Bill Gissane, attended the Fisher declaration.
Mr Gissane said it was important candidates accepted defeat with grace and humour, congratulating Mr Wallace on his election.
Mr Wallace thanked his family, expressing his excitement at pushing for progress for the region.
"I have no doubt you will hold me to account," he told the gathered crowd of supporters and media at the Maroochydore AEC offices.
He too praised the "cleanliness" of the campaign and reminisced on the day after the election, when he and other candidates met to enjoy a few drinks and reflect on the marathon campaign.
Mr Wallace said the election represented the turning of a "new leaf" for the region.