Sophie Mirabella concedes seat, takes blames for loss
FORMER Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella has conceded defeat in the Victorian seat of Indi, claiming full responsibility for the loss.
Just minutes after Tony Abbott was sworn-in as Australia's 28th Prime Minister, Ms Mirabella issued a statement revealing she had contacted Cathy McGowan to congratulate the independent on her amazing victory.
Ms Mirabella also gave a strong indication she would recontest the seat at the next election, saying she would "work with every ounce of my being to see this seat return to the Coalition".
"But ... today is for Cathy McGowan. I wish her success in the service of the people of Indi," Ms Mirabella's statement read.
It would have been a particularly difficult day for Ms Mirabella as her Coalition colleagues were sworn-in at Government House in Canberra.
She would have taken a place in Mr Abbott's cabinet had she managed to retain Indi.
"This election is over and the responsibility for the outcome is mine," Ms Mirabella's statement read.
"Despite the closeness of the count I have decided not to seek a recount. I unreservedly accept the decision of the democratic process."
As of Wednesday morning Ms Mirabella trailed Ms McGowan by 389 votes with about 500 left to count.
Ms Mirabella, who first won Indi in 2001, said representing the electorate had been a "high honour and a very special privilege".
With Indi decided, attention will now shift to the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax where Clive Palmer's lead has been eroded to just 64 votes.
Mr Palmer, who leads the Palmer United Party, has already demanded a recount and threatened to take legal action if the result goes against him.