Local News

Barnaby Joyce claims a win in the New England and Labor's Joel FItzgibbon looks to have retained Hunter

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The Nationals Barnaby Joyce has retained the seat of New England.

He has secured more than 70 per cent of the vote.

“No individual has ever won an election in the history of democracy. Who wins an election? You people, all of you people, I feel so humbled when I go out there.”

“We won an election and we ladies and gentlemen did very very well,” he said at a gathering in Tamworth this evening.

“I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to protect the incredible honour that you placed in me and it is nothing more than a sign for me to work hard and work as hard as I possibly can.”

Independent Adam Blakester has picked up around 15 per cent of the vote followed by Labor’s Yvonne Langenberg.

In the Hunter seat, Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon has picked up around 22,000 votes or 55 per cent.

At a function in Cessnock tonight he said there's no doubt he has retained the seat.

“I think I will remain the member for Hunter, I don’t think there is any doubt about that, but I listen to my electorate.”

“My electorate has expressed a concern about Labor’s progressive policies, about our approach to climate change policy in particular and it is my job now not to change my mind but try to demonstrate to people that the transition is  a long one and the Labor Party is absolutely dedicated to making sure people come out the other side of that transition in good shape,” said Joel Fitzgibbon.

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The National’s Josh Angus has received a big swing toward him, against the incumbent at 7 per cent but says it’s still too early to call.

“It’s still early, but there’s a clear swing against the incumbent, and obviously the electorate is trying to tell him something - perhaps that he’s not here in the electorate enough, or that not enough has been delivered for the neglected,”

“It’s been taken for granted, and hopefully regardless of the result, hopefully, it will mean more attention for the Hunter.”

“This is a win. It’s a win for the people of the hunter. A narrow margin is without a doubt a win for the people.”

“I think it’s too early to call the political winner, I’d like to see more local booths won first, at current we’ve only counted around 40% of the vote, so it’s still anyone’s game.”

With more than 50 per cent of the votes counted in Hunter, Josh Angus has 21.9 per cent of the votes and One Nation’s Stuart Bonds is very close to him with 21.8 per cent of the vote.

The counting continues…

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse and Barnaby Joyce