UPDATE: Incumbent Hinkler, Wide Bay MPs to hold on
9PM: INCUMBENT Nationals Llew O'Brien and Keith Pitt will hold their respective seats of Wide Bay and Hinkler.
Early counts in both seats indicated a sizeable majority for Mr Pitt and Mr O'Brien.
While the small crowd of supporters continues to watch the national count with anticipation, the room was filled with joy at the news Mr O'Brien would hold the seat.
Addressing the crowd, Mr O'Brien thanked his supporters for their efforts and said he would continue to represent Wide Bay going into the future.
8PM: Llew O'Brien and Keith Pitt look set to hold their respective seats as the election count continues. But Mr O'Brien said he's taking nothing for granted as the results all over the country trickle in.
A small gathering of family and supporters are in his office watching the count. As of the last count, Mr O'Brien led on 8584 votes, followed by Labor's Jason Scanes on 4606 votes.
Mr Pitt leads Hinkler on 7046 votes. Labor's Richard Pascoe follows on 4091.
Mr O'Brien said overconfidence "is not a good sign in this game".
"I've worked in Canberra with one absolute force, to serve the people of Wide Bay," he said.
"I will respect the outcome (of the election) no matter what
7PM: WIDE Bay Labor candidate Jason Scanes and his wife Jackie are having a private party with their volunteers in Maryborough tonight as they await results in the election.
Mr Scanes said today had been an exciting one for his team and he had focused on visiting as many booths as possible and thanking the volunteers who had assisted his run for office.
This morning Mr Scanes voted at St Paul's Anglican Hall in Maryborough after spending the week campaigning in Noosa.
He said regardless of the result it was great to see a passionate, diverse group of people come together to push for a fair go.
He said he would be thrilled if Labor leader Bill Shorten became prime minister tonight.
"A fair go is what Australia is about and that has been really inspiring to me."
6PM: POLLS have closed.
Huge crates of ballot papers have arrived at the Pialba returns office for counting.
The Chronicle will be reporting live from election parties across the region.
SUPPORTING aged pensioners and the economy were the key deciders behind Dianne Boots' vote today.
Mrs Boots admired the work of past prime ministers Malcolm Fraser and the late Bob Hawke for their dedication to the "working-class man".
Speaking to the Chronicle at the River Heads polling booth, she said today's candidates needed to stop bagging each other and follow through with the policies they promoted.
ROBERT Martin waited patiently in line at St James Lutheran College.
In his hand were flyers from each candidate.
Mr Martin thinks every party tried to do the best for Australian people, but he wanted to see more done for crime prevention.
The Urraween man said he spent his life living like a gypsy, moving from one country to another, but had never seen crime like he had in Australia.
"I would like to see a government that does more against crime prevention and security," he said
JOSH Seedsman was disappointed Hinkler candidates did not represent his needs as a family man.
Voting from Hervey Bay High School, Mr Seedsman said while it was good to see more Independent candidates this year, it was disappointing they weren't focusing on Fraser Coast families.
"There's too much finger pointing and not enough solutions," he said.
ONE Nation candidate Damian Huxham has cast his vote. Its the fourth time he's contested an election - this is is second tilt at the seat of Hinkler. He previously ran for the state seats of Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
With daughter Kyra by his side and sporting a bright orange vest (and flu symptoms), Mr Huxham spent his last campaign moments speaking with residents at Hervey Bay State High School.
The Chronicle was there to capture the moment the self-funded candidate slipped his vote into the ballot box.
Mr Huxham maintained One Nation voters were the biggest fear for major parties.
"People are tired of the major parties and want to see change," he said.
"I always feel confident, but it's going to come down to preferences.
"There are 10 candidates and it's going to be a tough call."
Around the ridges
1.30pm - Glenwood decides
JOHN Davis is volunteering outside Glenwood State School with his puppy Monty on behalf of Fraser Anning's Conservative Party.
He said he has had plenty of interest through the day.
"I've done volunteering now since 1992 and I'm very impressed with the policies of Fraser Anning."
The first group he did volunteer work for was the Confederate Action Party.
He now volunteers for state and council elections as well as federal elections.
He has campaigned for One Nation but now feels Fraser Anning's party more closely represents his beliefs.
Sonia Fitzpatrick, volunteering for the United Australia Party, was on hand to chat with those casting their votes at Glenwood State School and in between was having a chat with Peter Norman, who was volunteering on behalf of Wide Bay's Labor hopeful Jason Scanes.
Glenwood residents Cathleen and Gregory Sloss voted at Glenwood State School today. Taxation was one of the biggest issues they considered ahead of voting.
12.40pm - Bauple ballots
IT'S been a busy day in Bauple with plenty of people dropping by the town's only polling booth.
Labor volunteer Karen Holmes said there had been a steady stream people since polls open led this morning.
Her husband, Alan Holmes, said usually about 350 people cast their votes in the small township.
SABRINA Spice and Craig Hewson voted at Bauple State School today, saying health and education were their number one issues as they have a young daughter, Amber, who has struggled with health issues since she was born.
It was slow and steady for two volunteers for Labor and Liberal candidates at the little seaside town of Boonooroo.
Boonooroo resident Annie who came to the polls knowing exactly who she was voting for said there was too many candidates.
"I really dislike when we vote for someone and we don't have the choice for a preference," she said.
"I know the party I want to vote for and I don't know the vote will be of any value because of the preference."
Burrum Heads booths
BURRUM Heads local Peter Willebrands greets most people by name as the walk into the Burrum Heads Community polling booth.
The die-hard LNP voter and volunteer had many fights at the dinner table growing up in a Labor family.
"I have a financial background in accounting and I believe the LNP are the best for our economy," he said.
At age 63, Janelle Margaret Golightly-Marshall has decided "it's time to do something" and donned the yellow of the United Australia Party. Standing outside the Burrum Heads Community Hall polling booth the grandmother-of-two said she was raised in a family manufacturing business her father started in 1961.
"We had 100 employees who made quality Australian goods," she said.
"I know what we went through with Whitlam and Keating.
"My daughter is a chartered accountant and her husband is a builder from a family of builders.
"I want to stop the sale of Australia to foreign interests.
"Clive Palmer is concerned about the future of Australia for his children like I am for my grandchildren."
The morning was busy at the Burrum Heads Community Hall voting booth but by around midday only trickles of voters braved the heat to have their say.
First time Labor volunteer Cathy Clarke has set up on the front lawn in her deck chair and is "loving it".
"I believe in equality and the environment," she said.
"Why wouldn't I? I live in the best place in the world in Burrum."
Mindy Moore, a One Nation volunteer, is volunteering for the first time because she simply wants to help people.
Stationed outside the Burrum Heads Community Hall around lunchtime, Ms Moore said the cost of living and standing up for small businesses and the battles which made up Australia were her priorities.
"I think there needs to be accountability to run this nation," she said
Although Sara Gerdsen hasn't always voted Greens, she now proudly stands volunteering in the tell-tale green outside the Burrum Heads Community Centre polling booth.
"I've volunteered in federal, state and local elections," she said.
"I care about climate change and I want my grandchildren to be able to experience the great barrier reef and our beautiful bush."
The Burrum River local of 20 years grew up on Kangaroo Island in South Australian and can remember the first time she voted.
"It was an invalid vote because I didn't like the two major parties that we my options at the time," she said. "However this polling booth today, its camaradarie must be appreciated.
"The ladies from the Burrum Heads Community Church made us coffee and tea."
SINCE she was old enough to vote, Toogoom's Kaye Rogers has always put 1 next to the ALP on the voting ballot. The former Dysart mine worker has been volunteering for the Labor party for the last few years. "I volunteered for fairness," she said. "I volunteered the last two weeks in Hervey Bay for the pre-polling. "I really hope we get in, it's time for a change."
12.09am - Friendly rivalry
PROVING rivals can be friends, Lance Stone, handing out flyers for Labor and Jeffery Schmidt, handing out flyers for the LNP, were sharing a laugh at Tiaro State School, where dozens of people have voted this morning.
Jeffery and Lance agreed that all those who attended had been very respectful to both of them.
"Most have already made up their minds how they want to vote," Jeffery said
THE colours of their shirts may be as different as their preferred policies but it didn't stop these ladies from befriending each other outside the polling booth.
Queues outside the Hervey Bay PCYC area have slowed since this morning but there's still plenty of time to cast your vote before polls close.
Georgina, who has volunteered on-and-off for Labor since Gough Whitlam's campaign, has seen plenty of excitement in her volunteering years. She recalls an incident in 1999 involving former Wide Bay MP Brendan Hansen.
"I was at a march in Maryborough that year and Mr Hansen went into cardiac arrest in a park nearby," Georgina said. "I was one of the three people who helped resuscitate him.
"It was a bit of a brush with history."
For Davina, this will be her fourth election volunteering effort, having previously volunteered in other elections for Ted Sorensen, Paul Truscott, Chris Foley and Bruce Saunders. "I love being in the community and it feels great to be making a difference out there," she said.
ANIMAL Justice Party candidate Amy Byrnes spent the morning campaigning at Urangan Point State School.
The 22-year-old has dipped her toes into politics for the first time this election.
Ms Byrnes said she has had a positive response from the public.
"People like seeing young people in politics," she said. "I have never been in politics, so it was quite a shock to the system.
"I would like to see people treat animals better and end animal cruelty.
"We'd also like to see an end to live exports and Adani, fix the climate change crisis and more to protect wildlife." The young candidate will watch the results roll in from home with her mother, who is scrutineering today.
11.50am - Democracy snags all round
COOKING up the democracy sausages at Tiaro State School, Mel Missen reckons manning the barbecue is the best part of Election Day since she gets to chat with so many people.
She said lots of people had stopped for a sausage and to talk about the weather after voting - but after weeks of election talk, no one wanted to chat about politics, she said.
Mel said the sausage sizzle hadn't been busy, but it had been steady.
"Yeah it's not bad, sort of continuous," she said.
"We've raised a little bit of money for the school."
11.30am - Here's how Howard is marking polling day
HOWARD State School teachers, parents and students were volunteering at their democracy sausage sizzle to fundraise for their school where the ballot is taking place.
11-year-old sports captain Soren Testa, 11-year-old sports captain Patrick Johnson is pictured with teacher Candice Riley and 11-year-old school captain Isabelle Andrew.
ICE Dream van owner Sharon Lancaster has come back to Howard to sell voters sweet treats in the heat.
She recently moved to Torbanlea after living on a farm at Howard.
"I voted this morning in between serving people," she said.
"The rising cost of power bills is very important to me.
"There used to be the Labor Ladies who sold cakes and thing but you don't see many of them these days.
"We gave a donation to the school to come down. The hot donuts are very popular."
BOB Woodyard can still remember the first time he voted in 1967 at aged 18.
Now 70, the Howard local of four decades said his five grandchildren have decided his vote.
"I've lived a bloody great life," he said.
"I'm voting for Pauline Hanson's one nation because I want my children and five grandchildren in Howard to have a future.
"The health system, the education system and population control are very important to me."
"WE DO it differently in Howard, you don't have to hate each other. Everyone is entitled to decide what is important to them," LNP volunteer of 30 years Grant Maw said as he joked with other pamphlet holders Labor's Malinda Rowland and United Australia Party's Jess Dobson.
The Howard man said he has been a loyal LNP voter most of his life because it was the party which was closet to his personal values.
"You are never going to agree 100% but I agree with their important polices," he said.
This is Toogoom's Ms Dobson first time volunteering in an election.
"I just like helping people and United Australia Party resonates with my values and how I was brought up,"she said. "Most people are friendly and take our pamphlets or politely say no, you don't get too many grumpy people but you just shake it off. At the end of the day I'm here to help people."
PROVING you're never too young to learn about democracy, little Corey came along with his dad and mum Brian and Andrea Smith as they stopped in at Tinana State School to cast their votes.
Tyler and Porsha also got to see democracy at work. Andrea, who works in the aged care industry, said that was an important issue for her when it came to deciding who to vote for.
PAULA Nunan wants to see the restoration of fair funding to state schools.
Ms Nunan said the system was broken and wanted to see it fixed.
"I want to see all kids, regardless of their post code, be given a fair go," she said.
10.50am - Scanes casts vote
WIDE Bay Labor candidate Jason Scanes has voted at Maryborough's St Paul's along with his wife, Jackie.
He said he had been travelling around the different booths in the city to thank the volunteers who were supporting his run for office.
"I'm proud of what Labor stands for, a fair go for low and middle class workers, investing in people and looking after the elderly. That's what I'm about and that's what Labor is about."
IT IS the first time Chris Howard has voted in a federal election.
The 18-year-old ducked into Yarrilee State School to vote before his shift at Woolworths.
Both Chris' parents are teachers which he said influenced his vote.
"I'm voting because I have to, but it'll be either Liberal or Labor again anyway," he said.
Chris would like to see a government elected who are to make environmental changes
ERICA Lunn first voted in an election in 1958, casting her vote for Australia's longest serving prime minister, Robert Menzies.
Today she was lined up at St Paul's in Maryborough with her husband, Brian Lunn, who reckons he "would have voted Labor in those days".
10.25am - 'Do it for the planet'
SPORTING her white T-shirts amongst the crowd of coloured slogans, Vicki McMurtrie is urging voters to put the climate first when they vote.
Vicki, her 1-year-old son Harrison and Hervey Bay resident Charmaine Savage set up their picnic blanket outside the Hervey Bay High school to get their message through to undecided voters.
Vicki said climate change was the dominating concern for her in the election and it would ultimately rob Harrison's future if politicians didn't do something about it.
"We want voters to make an educated judgement on the ballot and not take what politicians say on face value,"she said.
"We want consideration for people like Harrison, he's too young to vote so we have to vote for him."
DAWN Powell, in a distinctive royal blue shirt, volunteered to hand out fliers on behalf of Wide Bay's LNP candidate Llew O'Brien.
"I've been a member of the Liberal Party since 1980," she said.
"I suppose it's their policies and the way I was brought up."
Rebecca Norman and Jamie Dunn were handing out fliers on behalf of the United Australia Party. Rebecca said it was a great day to be part of the community and to talk to people..
Craig Armstrong was volunteering on behalf of the Greens at St Paul's.
"I think the interest is up more generally speaking for progressive parties.
Addressing things like climate change, inequality and tax evasion so we can properly fund public services is important to people."
Craig is a former Wide Bay candidate for the party.
Not content with a democracy sausage sizzle, the volunteers at Granville Community Kindergarten are also having a democracy bake sale.
Evelyn Philliskirk, Erin Grevelle, Kasey Green and Michelle Thompson were volunteering throughout the day.
From fudge to pikelets and chocolate spiders there's plenty to choose from.
Mary Rose and Cynthia Terelst both voted at Granville Community Kindergarten this morning.
One voted for Labor's Jason Scanes and the other for Daniel Bryar from the Greens.
Cynthia said it was climate, environmental and immigration issues the help her decide to vote for the Greens.
Mary Rose said it was family tradition that inspired her Labor Party vote.
Geoff Moller is handing out fliers for incumbent member Llew O'Brien at Granville Community Kindergarten.
"I do it every election for the last 50 old years from the old Nationals Party to the LNP," he said.
"I've been with the National Party all my life and knew Warren Truss very well. I think Llew is doing a good job."
THE first batch of early voters are streaming through the gates of Hervey Bay High School to cast their vote for Hinkler's next MP.
Incumbent Keith Pitt is among the first to drop in his ballots.
A busy pack of volunteers are handing out flyers to undecided voters but the polling booth is noticeably without democracy snags.
Mr Pitt told the Chronicle he had placed Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party candidate Aaron Erskine last. When asked how he felt his chances were, Mr Pitt said there was "no such thing as a safe seat".
"I think it's fantastic to see every Australian be able to have a vote," Mr Pitt said.
TODAY we get to decide and the Fraser Coast Chronicle will be following every step as the day unfolds.
Stay up to date with our rolling coverage of the last day in the election race.
Still deciding on who to vote for?
Where to vote
LEFT voting until the last minute?
They'll be open from 8am-6pm.
How to vote.
There's a couple of key things to remember when you hit the polling booths on Saturday.
On election day you're going to receive two ballot papers, a green one (House of Representatives) and a white one for the Senate.
You must number every box on the ballot paper for the House of Representatives, with number one being your first preferences, working down.
You can vote one of two ways on the Senate paper.
If you choose to vote above the line, you must number at least six boxes, in order of preference, starting from number one as first preference.
If you choose to vote below the line, you need to number at least 12 boxes, from one to 12, for individual candidates, in the order of your choice, with one being your first preference, and so on.
If you're still uncertain, go the AEC's website for the official voting guide.
Best of luck.