The sweetest victory
What a great time for the NSW Nationals.
We've run a great election campaign and held all our seats despite fierce opposition from both Labor and Independents, and a despicable scare campaign based on a lie. The Nationals have bettered the high water mark of 21 members from the 2013 election - and this year the swing was against the government. We are likely to hold Capricornia and Flynn, so the victory by Damian Drum over the Liberals in Murray takes our number to 22.
These results are truly remarkable and in no small part due to the NSW Nationals - the members and volunteers, the MPs themselves, the NSW Head Office and staff, NSW state Ministers who helped out in various ways, and NSW federal Nationals Ministers (indeed all federal Nats Ministers) who all performed admirably. I also want to sincerely thank Wacka Williams and our senate candidates, Wes Fang and Fiona Leviny who did such a terrific job in the senate campaign and gave great support to our MPs and candidates, and congratulate Michael McCormack, Mark Coulton and Andrew Gee on their excellent wins. I also want to congratulate Matthew Fraser and his team on a hard fought campaign.
There's unfortunately not room to mention every victory but in the seats in which we faced significant threat:
- Our federal leader, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, has dispatched a fierce opponent in independent Tony Windsor, whilst at the same time travelling relentlessly around the nation defending our seats and leading us to a spectacular victory.
- Kevin Hogan and the Nationals have held Page which was under relentless assault from Labor and Janelle Saffin and Labor's army of robo callers, which were scaring pensioners in their homes by falsely suggesting the Coalition would privatise Medicare.
- In Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker and the Nationals defeated former independent Rob Oakeshott in another hard fought contest.
Today the new, larger Nationals party room has its first meeting.
Following this stunning result, I'd like to thank all the members and volunteers who win elections. Those people walking the street doing letterbox drops, standing in the freezing cold at the pre-poll booths and on election day handing out How-To-Votes, donating $50 here or there, making the food for the campaign office launches and a hundred other things the person on the street has no idea about.
You are the people who win us seats and elections. Our messages and good work don't filter through to the community without your hard work.
Take a moment to be proud.