Election divide gets wider

The counting of postal votes has increased the margin of sitting Liberal MP Tony Pasin in the local seat of Barker.

According to the latest published figures from the Australian Electoral Commission, Mr Pasin has secured almost 54% of the primary vote.

On a two-party preferred vote, Mr Pasin has around 67% compared to Labor Party challenger Mark Braes with 33%.

Mr Pasin returned to Canberra on Monday when Liberal MPs elected Peter Dutton unopposed as their new leader with fellow Cabinet Minister Sussan Ley as his deputy.

In his public remarks since his conservative faction ally became Liberal and Opposition Leader, Mr Pasin has distanced himself from speculation that he may become the first Member for Barker since 1998 to serve on the frontbench.

Mr Pasin said he was focussed on serving as the Member for Barker and would leave it to others to determine if he could serve in additional roles.

Meanwhile, Mr Dutton has outlined his priorities as Opposition Leader.

“Under my leadership, the Liberal Party will be true to our values that have seen us win successive elections over the course of the last quarter of a century,” Mr Dutton said.

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