Palmer maintains lead as count goes down to the wire

CLIVE Palmer remains 57 votes ahead of his LNP rival Ted O'Brien with more than 95% of the Fairfax recount completed.

Now well into its eighth week, counting is down to the wire to determine who will represent the Sunshine Coast in Federal Parliament when it is expected to return on the week of November 11.

Three small polling places, Special Hospital Team 2, Special Hospital Team 3 and the BLV Fairfax Pre-poll Vote Centre, remain to be finalised.

All absent and postal votes have been recounted and finalised as well as one pre-poll batch, leaving about 4500 pre-poll votes to be dealt with.

Spokesman Phil Diak said the Australian Electoral Commission would provide a short media advice when the recount was completed and a margin was final.

He said that after that the declaration of the poll would occur. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has already said he preferred that the new Parliament should convene in the week of November 11. It remains unclear what happens if the count is still undeclared then.