Monday, March 27, 2023

‘It’s very, very tight’: Andrew Constance bucks election night trend in marginal seat

The marginal New South Wales seat of Gilmore remains in the balance with a result not expected for several days.

Former NSW cabinet minister, Andrew Constance, has bucked a national trend as a moderate Liberal and picked up ground against Labor incumbent Fiona Phillips.

“It’s very, very tight,” Mr Constance told supporters at the Bomaderry Bowling Club on Saturday night.

He said early indications were positive but a large portion of pre-poll votes meant it was too soon to know if he had won.

Major booths at Batemans Bay and Nowra are still to be counted.

Not a ‘push over’

Gilmore was the only seat taken from the Coalition in 2019.

Ms Phillips told her party faithful she remained optimistic when speaking at the St Georges Basin Country Club on election night.

“While I think it’s going to be a nervous wait for the next few days, I am up for it,” she said.

She said the commitments she made during the campaign would be met, regardless of the result.

“They will be delivered by an Albanese Labor Government,” she said.

Fiona Phillips Handing Out How-To-Vote Cards At The 2022 Federal Election
Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips says she is optimistic she will be returned with pre-poll votes still to be counted.,ABC Illawarra: Jessica Clifford,

Whitlam sticks with Labor

Further north in the seat of Whitlam, Labor’s Stephen Jones retained office despite a slight swing away from the party.

Mr Jones had won 45.5 per cent of the primary vote after 78.9 per cent of the vote was counted on election night.

Results showed 3.3 per cent of his vote had been stripped.

Liberal candidate Mike Cains picked up a 2.8 per cent swing while Greens candidate Jamie Dixon also picked up 1.2 per cent swing.

“We have a big job of work to do and I’m just so grateful to the people of Whitlam for returning me and the people of Australia for putting their faith in an Albanese Labor Government,” Mr Jones said.

He said the country had experienced a “tectonic shift”.

He said Australians wanted serious action on climate change and an anti-corruption commission at the federal level.

“It’s also a very clear vote against Scott Morrison,” he said.

Mr Jones, a shadow minister for financial services, received a shout out from Labor leader Anthony Albanese in his acceptance speech on Saturday and was told as part of the economic team he would need to “start work on Monday”.

Stephen Jones During 2022 Election Campaign
Whitlam Labor MP Stephen Jones retained his seat. ,ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale,

Mr Jones said he expected to remain on the front bench and would like to keep the key economic portfolio.

“I have really loved working in the area of ​​financial services, superannuation, in the assistance treasury role,” he said.

“I would be delighted if Anthony allocates that portfolio to me… that’s what I would hope to be doing.”

Taylor holds Hum despite swing

Liberal incumbent Angus Taylor held Hume but suffered a 5.4 per cent swing against him with 60 per cent of the vote counted.

A strong showing by Independent Penny Ackery dented the senior Coalition MP’s vote.

Mr Taylor will lose his ministerial roles after the concession delivered by Scott Morrison.

It is unclear whether Mr Taylor is in contention for the opposition leadership position after leader Scott Morrison announced plans to hand over the reins at the next party room meeting,

Election Signs For Labor At A Cunningham Polling Booth
Alison Byrnes returned the seat of Cunningham for Labor after the retirement of incumbent Sharon Bird. ,Twitter: Elliot Stein,

Cunningham sticks with Labor

Labor’s Alison Byrnes will be the next member of parliament in Cunningham.

A member of the party since she was 16, she spent the past 17 years working for the ALP.

That included being a staffer for former Cunningham MPs Sharon Bird and Steven Martin as well as former Labor leader Mark Latham.

Her predecessor, Ms Bird, held the seat at the 2019 election by a 14.3 per cent margin.

With 77 per cent of the vote counted Ms Byrnes had recorded a primary vote of 40.3 per cent and suffered a 6.3 per cent swing against her.

The Greens had picked up 21.8 per cent of first preference votes, recording a strong swing towards them of 6.8 per cent.

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New Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s victory speech in full

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