UPDATE (10:30PM): After counting postal and prepoll votes, the Nationals now lead the Shooters with 30.1% vs 24.9% suffering a 35.5% swing. The result will be decided on preferences with Labor on 19.1% many of those will go to the Shooters.
Voters in the regional NSW seat of Orange have sent a strong message to the Baird-Grant Coalition Government that they will no longer be taken for granted – hitting the government at the ballot box for the Orange by-election held today. With just over half the vote counted, the National Party’s vote has collapsed from 65.6% at the 2015 election to 28.9% today – a swing of 36.7%.
The Nationals, which have held the seat since 1947 are facing a strong challenge from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party which is currently placed second in the count and could win the seat on Labor preferences.
One National MP told VOA that Deputy Premier Troy Grant is “done after this” and expects there to be a challenge for the party leadership as early as next week – with John Barilaro and Paul Toole being possible leadership contenders.
While the Nationals face the largest swing, the Labor Party and Greens have also faced a swing away from them – with the voters of Orange showing they are dissatisfied with the three major parties.
Image Credit: By Hpeterswald – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37692272