Voices for Farrer was formed with the aim of ‘‘doing politics differently’’, and Saturday’s election results won’t change that according to its chair Chris Brooks.
Mr Brooks said Voices for Farrer would continue to function despite its preferred and endorsed Independent candidate Kevin Mack being soundly out-polled by incumbent Sussan Ley.
‘‘We may have lost the election, but Farrer is still a winner in that we were able to cut the margin — if the Coalition keep winning the seat by 20 per cent, they don’t have to do anything,’’ Mr Brooks said.
‘‘Sussan got to meet a lot of people who are not as happy with their political representation as she may have thought.
‘‘Voices for Farrer will continue to operate to make sure (Sussan Ley) follows through on her promises, and to be ready for the next election.
‘‘Of course I am disappointed Kevin did not poll higher, but you have to accept and appreciate the democratic rule.
‘‘All we can do now is hope that it’s better than it has been.’’
The overall election results at the time of going to print yesterday put Ms Ley 30 per cent ahead of Mr Mack when it came to the primary vote.
But at a local level, the results show that there is still a widespread dissatisfaction with the political ‘safe seat’ representation.
Ms Ley lost every booth in Deniliquin to Mr Mack, as well as Blighty, Mathoura, Moulamein and Wakool.
The swing against her at those individual polls ranged from 25 per cent to 34 per cent.
The breakdown by booth is as follows:
●Deniliquin High School: Ley – 322 votes (-25% swing); Mack – 378 votes (+41% swing).
●Deniliquin Scout Hall: Ley – 141 (-27.4%); Mack – 176 (+47.96%).
●Deniliquin Edward Public School: Ley – 156 (-28.09); Mack – 172 (+36.52).
●Mathoura: Ley – 159 (-14.66); Mack – 101 (+25.31).
●Wakool: Ley – 60 (-20.71); Mack – 100 (+54.95).
●Blighty: Ley – 51 (-34.26); Mack – 90 (+60.40).
●Moulamein: Ley – 85 (-30.55); Mack – 111 (+45.87).
Mr Mack also polled higher at the Deniliquin Prepoll voting centre, with 1278 votes to Ms Ley’s 1240. As prepoll voting was utilised much more than at previous elections this year, the swings for both candidates were between 38 and 39 per cent.
Despite the local results, the support for Ms Ley in other parts of the electorate were too strong for Mr Mack to compete with.
After conceding the seat Saturday night, Mr Mack congratulated Sussan Ley on her win. He said he was proud to have helped to challenge the Coalition’s safe seat status in Farrer.
‘‘As an Independent candidate, it was my aim to create a contest in Farrer that drew attention to the region and demanded more focus on important issues to our rural communities, such as water, health and connectivity,’’ Mr Mack said.
‘‘We definitely brought the spotlight to Farrer, and I am proud of what our small team has been able to achieve.
‘‘I am especially thankful for the support of volunteers, donors and all those who have supported me along the way, including my wonderful family.
‘‘We gave it our best shot, but now I will concentrate on returning to my role as Albury Mayor. I will continue to do all I can working with council to deliver on projects to make our great city of Albury an even better place to live and work.’’