Nationals claim victory in Northern Tablelands

Nationals candidate Adam Marshall has claimed victory in the Northern Tablelands by-election, after a substantial swing to the party delivered him more than 60% of the primary vote on election night.
“This is a resounding result for the Nationals – one of the biggest wins we’ve ever had in Northern Tablelands,” Mr Marshall said.
The swing of more than 30% to the Nationals on primary vote will be the largest ever at a NSW by-election.
“The Nationals are well and truly back in the Northern Tablelands,” Mr Marshall said.
“I am very humbled by the support I have received from the electorate.
“I don’t take any of this for granted and I’ll work hard to repay the faith the electorate have placed in me today.”
At 28, Mr Marshall will be the youngest member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, joining fellow National Sarah Mitchell who at 31 is the youngest member of the Legislative Council.
The Nationals now have nineteen members of the NSW Legislative Assembly, and represent more of regional NSW – over 92% of the state – than at any time in the party’s history.
With preferences still to be distributed Mr Marshall has secured almost 62% of the primary vote, ahead of Independent Jim Maher on 14% and Labor’s Herman Beyersdorf on 10%.
Mr Marshall said that the plunge in support for independents at the by-election showed that Tony Windsor’s support for the Gillard Labor government had alienated voters in the Northern Tablelands.
“What we’ve witnessed here today is a huge shift away from independents to the Nationals, and Tony Windsor should take notice” Mr Marshall said.
The combined independent vote at the by-election collapsed to 22%, its lowest since 1995.
Mr Marshall said that he would begin to work immediately on a number of issues facing the electorate.
The Nationals candidate for the federal seat of New England, Barnaby Joyce said that the result shows a real volatility in the electorate.
“It’s something we are seeing everywhere,” Mr Joyce said, “people will change their vote, they are not locked in.”
“In the Northern Tablelands many of the people who had voted independent have voted for the Nationals. I do think a lot of the vote was affected by people uncomfortable with the Labor-Independent brand and are unhappy with where the nation has gone with it,” he said.
“At a State level the Eddie Obeid/Ian McDonald corruption enquiries have made it an easy decision for voters when they see a good candidate like Adam Marshall,” Mr Joyce concluded.
While viewed by many as an indicator of voting trends for the September Federal elections, Tony Windsor, Independent Member for New England has stated publicly this week that the two situations are not comparable.
Ahead of September’s Federal election, Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) has issued a statement of issues and all candidates for the Federal seat of New England will be asked to advise Council of their commitment and support prior to the poll.
LPSC Mayor, Councillor Ian Lobsey said Council has developed nine key issues that all have long-term significance: Cost Shifting (from Federal and State Governments to Local Government); LPSC’s Regional Water Supply Strategy
Road’s Funding; Rail Overpasses/By-Passes; Regional and Local Infrastructure Program; Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants; Funding for Home Care and Disability Services; Managing Emergencies, and Constitutional Recognition of Local Government.
“LPSC is seeking a commitment for the Federal Government to undertake annual reviews to identify and quantify any Federal Government cost shifting to Local Government and to compensate Councils accordingly,” Mr Lobsey said.
“We are also asking the Federal Government to reallocate Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants in favour of rural and remote councils with limited revenue raising capacity.
“Council will be looking to each candidate to support the Constitutional Recognition of Local Government referendum in September to allow Parliament to grant financial assistance to any state or local government body formed by or under a law of a state or territory,” he concluded.

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