Orange by-election on a knife edge
Scott Barrett with volunteers Al Hattersley and Ange Frazer in Orange on election day.
At the time of writing the Orange by-election result is too close to call, with the margin between Nationals Candidate Scott Barrett and the Shooters and Fishers Candidate Phil Donato now less than one-hundred votes. Counting of postal ballots continues with the full distribution of preferences due later this week.
Those of you who so generously volunteered to help on polling day would have witnessed the onslaught of negativity from the opposing parties, unions and third-party campaigners, primarily from outside of the electorate. It was a spectacle that appalled so many locals, yet seemingly may have shifted sentiment so much that it may have lost us the seat.
Without shying away from the issues that precipitated the swing against us, the result is a blow not only to our Party but to the Orange electorate, which has been well-represented by The Nationals over many years. Every major town in the electorate has a brand new health facility except for Canowindra, which has one on the way. Roads to Sydney from the Central West are undergoing major upgrades and after decades of neglect under Labor we are finally on the way to delivering a new XPT service for the region. Now the electorate faces the potential of two years of irrelevance on the crossbenches.
Scott won’t stop fighting for the electorate, and he is immensely grateful for the support he has received from the entire Nationals family. To everyone who handed out at a polling booth, who doorknocked and letterboxed the electorate, who donated to our by-election appeal and to all of those Party faithful who have stayed the course in our time of adversity we say thank you. Whilst the result is not as strong as we had hoped you should all feel immensely proud of your efforts.