National Party deputy leader David Littleproud has warned voters in Nicholls that if they do not elect a coalition candidate to the seat, the coalition will lose government.
- David Littleproud told a press conference that the voters of Nicholls could change the government if they vote independent
- Mr Littleproud said people in Nicholls are about to make one of the biggest decisions for their future and the nation’s future
- Independent candidate Rob Priestly says the comments are “fearmongering”
Mr Littleproud was speaking at a press conference in Ardmona, near Shepparton, to release the coalition’s agriculture plan.
He said they were confident they would do well in Nicholls but cautioned voters against choosing an independent.
Mr Littleproud said the people of Nicholls were “at the nexus of our nation’s future”.
“They are probably about to make one of the biggest decisions in their futures and in our nation’s future and so we just say to them be very careful about what you vote for.”
He said Labor only needed to win three or four seats from the coalition because they would get help from independents to form government.
“Anthony Albanese only needs seven seats to win but he doesn’t need to get there by himself. He can get there with independents,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Unfortunately, our magic number to win isn’t 76, it’s actually 77 because we have to provide a speaker and there’s only one independent that said they will support us.”
Independent candidate hits back at comments
Independent candidate for Nicholls Rob Priestly has labeled Mr Littleproud’s comments as fearmongering.
Mr Priestly would not say who he would back in the event of a hung parliament but said he would negotiate the best deal for his community.
“It’s also interesting to note Barnaby Joyce today making comments about not committing to a coalition agreement and he’ll negotiate the best outcome he can if that moment arrives for him and yet they’re expecting me to sign a pledge of support to the coalition without me negotiating the best way I can for my community,” he said.
Liberal candidate for Nicholls Steve Brooks said it had never been more important for the region to have a returned coalition government.
Mr Brooks said the independent candidate had not ruled out siding with Labor and The Greens.
“If you vote for a Liberal, you get a liberal government. If you vote for the Nationals, you get a coalition government.”
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