A fight for the history books
The seat of New England has never had so much national attention. Those on the ground felt like they were part of a bigger picture - that the contest wasn’t just about New England. It was about the resurgence of the Independent/Green/Labor alliance. This meant we had a large media following throughout the campaign and it became normal to walk outside and see a film crew aimed at the office from across the road.
With Barnaby’s campaign office and Mr Windsor’s campaign office separated only by Café 2340, some interesting car park activity and early morning coffee runs were only some of the ongoing interactions between the two camps. When the Tamworth Campaign Office first opened, as you’d expect a cleaning company arrived. It wasn’t until the bill was to be sorted that we realised the cleaners were actually supposed to be cleaning Mr Windsor’s office instead. Suffice to say we were very grateful for their mistake.
Getup! and the Unions had a strong presence in the New England with a sizeable media buy and a flurry of negative corflutes appearing in Tamworth and Armidale. We had several protests in front of the office and many of our volunteers experienced the aggressive nature of Windsor’s visitors on pre-poll and during Election Day. However, this did not deter or weaken our cohort, who remained strong amid the adversity.
The highlights of the campaign far outweighed the negative. Former Prime Minister John Howard’s visit left campaign spirits high. We all felt the weight of the Former Prime Minister’s full support behind Barnaby and we knew this could only have a positive effect on the campaign. Visits from the likes of Senator Fiona Nash and former Member for Riverina Kay Hull also helped tremendously in ensuring Barnaby’s triumph.
But none of this would have been possible without our volunteers. We had some exceptional volunteers who truly put Barnaby before themselves and did not stop fighting until they had him over the line. To all the volunteers that helped in the campaign office, on pre-poll, putting up corflutes, and to all the booth captains and volunteers on Election Day, we salute you. We could not have done this without you.