Upper Hunter by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the NSW state by-election in Upper Hunter.

Click here for full display of latest results.

9.23pm. We’re still awaiting a pre-poll result from (I think) “Upper Hunter EM Office”, but that’s it for my commentary until the small hours. My live results page will continue ticking over tonight and over the coming days. A reminder that this is the only place you can find swings reported at booth level, that took me at least a week of fairly heavy-duty labour, and that donations are gratefully received through the “become a supporter” button at the top of this page.

8.43pm. Clarence Town now in on TCP, and it swung 22.5% to the Nationals.

8.38pm. Oddly, despite the Nationals doing quite badly on that Quirindi pre-poll, they got a 4.0% swing on two-party. I still have a big gap on my TCP swing projection and overall swing projection, which is presumably because two of the three booths where we only have primary vote results, Clarence Town and Singleton Heights, both had Labor down by about 17% on the primary vote. When their TCP numbers are in, presumably the TCP swing projection will shift in favour of the Nationals.

8.15pm. The Quirindi pre-poll booth is in on the primary vote, and it’s weaker for the Nationals than their overall election day result — down 6.8% as compared with 2.0%.

8.07pm. We’re at the stage of the count where the election day pattern is clear, and those booths yet to report results — 11 for the TCP count, but only one for the primary — are not going to change things much. The known unknowns are the pre-poll booths, of which we will get the Singleton and Quirindi results later this evening, and whether the dynamic there is different from election day; and how non-major party candidates go on preferences, which holds out at least the theoretical possibility of Labor not making the final two-party count, followed by who-knows-what.

7.49pm. As someone just pointed out to me on Twitter, the large-ish Clarence Town booth has the Nationals up 14.6% on the primary vote, so the conventional TCP-based projections should get a kick in their favour when its TCP result is in.

7.42pm. Projections based only on the TCP count — mine, Antony Green’s and Kevin Bonham’s — all show very little swing. However, my overall projection, which presumes to make use of primary vote results from booths where the TCP is yet to be reported, adds about 2% to the Nationals.

7.37pm. The largest booth to report so far, Muswellbrook Indoor Sport Centre, has recorded the biggest drop in the Nationals primary vote — 9.4%.

7.35pm. My preference projections are back to showing much the same splits as occurred in 2019, with no particular increase in the exhaustion rate. My projection of the Nationals swing/winning margin has accordingly come down a fair deal, without suggesting they’re in any danger (from Labor).

7.25pm. There’s quite a big gap between my two-candidate preferred swing of 2.1% to the Nationals, which booth-matches the TCP results in the 12 booths where they’ve reported, and my overall projected swing of 7.6%, which projects the changes in preferences on to the 14 booths that have so far only reported primary votes. Presumably the former figure will inflate as those 14 booths reports their TCP numbers.

7.15pm. Six booths now in on two-party. The exhaustion rate now looks higher than at the election, which sees off any hope Labor might have had that something would turn up on preferences. The gap in the primary vote swings in favour of the Nationals has also widened, the projected Nationals primary vote is now in the thirties, and my projection says 100% Nationals win probability — over Labor. But could one of the minor party candidates preference snowball their way ahead of Labor into second place?

7.12pm. I’ve just corrected a bug that was screwing up my projected two-party swing display. It’s predicting a swing to the Nationals of around 5%.

7.08pm. Observe my booth results map carefully and you will now see numbers indicating the two-party results in the two booths where they are available. Now I’m sure everything’s working, a plug for donations if you find this useful or interesting, which you can do through the “become a supporter” button at the top of the page — naturally there was a fair bit of work involved in all this.

7.06pm. Antony Green’s numbers basically align with my own, which is always reassuring.

7.03pm. Okay, now we’ve got two booths in on two-party preferred, and they are behaving very similarly to how they did at the 2019 election. That’s enough for my system to effectively call it for the Nationals, but I’d want to hold out for a few more booths. Note that this is entirely a two-party model, which is to say it rates the Nationals a near certainty of beating Labor — it’s a different story if another candidate makes the two-party cut. I may be being generous though in allowing that as a possibility, given the gap between second and third.

7.01pm. So going off primary vote projections based on the existing booth-matched swing, both Nationals and Labor are projected to be in the twenties (though only just in the case of the Nationals). I guess with that much non-major party vote out there you can’t rule out something surprising happening with minor candidates when preferences are distributed. Kirsty O’Connell, One Nation and Shooters are all just above 10%.

6.59pm. I observe that Kirsty O’Connell won the Wingen booth. You can see this by observing the booth results map at the bottom of my full live results page — the booth is colour-coded in grey, whereas other booths that have reported are green or red depending on who out of the Nationals and Labor has the highest primary vote.

6.56pm. A bit surprised there are still no two-party numbers — the NSWEC may be holding them back until they’re satisfied they have picked the right candidates for the notional count.

6.54pm. I believe we can be confident the final preference count will be Nationals versus Labor.

6.52pm. Primary vote results coming in at a fair clip, and there’s a fairly steady picture of the Nationals primary being down 3%-4% and Labor being down 5%-6%. If that holds, Labor needs to pull a rabbit out of its hat on preferences, on which we will continue to fly blind until two-party counts start to come in.

6.47pm. Eleven booths now on primary, and Labor’s drop is back to being a few points worse than the Nationals. Still nothing on two-party.

6.45pm. Ten booths now in on the primary vote and things looking a little better for Labor. But with the non-major party vote so high, this is very hard to read without information on preferences, which we won’t have until a two-party count comes through.

6.43pm. Given the booths in so far are from Nationals territory, they would have to be encouraged that their primary vote is almost holding up — Labor’s greater drop comes off a lower base. Other than that, the presence of a One Nation candidate is gouging support from Shooters.

6.40pm. Eight booths in on the primary vote now, and the Nationals still holding up somewhat better than Labor on the primary vote. Still nothing on two-party preferred though — maybe the preference dynamics will be different this time.

6.37pm. I think I’ve picked out most of the bugs, but disregard my projection until a TPP result gets reported. At the moment we’ve got five small booths in on the primary vote, and it does seem like Labor are down more than the Nationals.

6.30pm. That’s more like it. Two booths in. Only 201 votes, but so far, so interesting — both major parties down about the same amount on the primary vote.

6.28pm. Okay, the first booth is in and, frankly, disregard my results display for now — there’s a pretty big glitch in there.

6.15pm. Greens activist @seamus_polsci relates on Twitter that “the NSWEC has indicated that they will only be counting the election managers (Singleton early voting) and Quirindi early voting tonight (about 7,700 voters out of just about 19,000) rest will start counting from 9am tomorrow”.

5.45pm. Polls will close in 15 minutes. I’m in my usual state of semi-confidence about my live results facility working — it’s complicated on this occasion by the fairly high chance that the two leading candidates will not be those picked out by the NSWEC for the notional two-candidate preferred count, who, I think it’s safe to say, will be the Nationals and Labor candidates. Anyway, we’ll see how we go.

Some explanatory notes about the booth results map at the bottom of the page. Where no result is in for a booth (i.e. all of them at first), the location is indicated by a white dot. When a primary vote result is reported, the dot becomes colour-coded to indicate the party that won the primary vote. When a two-party result is reported, the dot turns into a number indicating the (colour-coded) winning party’s percentage two-party vote.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

152 comments on “Upper Hunter by-election live”

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  1. Interesting outcome. A lot of people seem comfortable with corruption, or has NSW Labor’s past neutralized the issue.

    One thing is for sure the Liberal/Green campaign machine is good at keeping the Liberals in power.

  2. You can’t be too close an observer – Labor ran on supporting coal in upper hunter – hence their candidate was a cfmeu mining official.

    It may be more that Labor is both pro and anti coal depending on the circumstances / prevailing polling.

    People would have had more respect for remnant Labor if they had the courage of calling bs on the Kurri Kurri power plant proposal – but they didn’t did they?

  3. “frednksays:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 8:39 am
    Interesting outcome. A lot of people seem comfortable with corruption, or has NSW Labor’s past neutralized the issue.

    One thing is for sure the Liberal/Green campaign machine is good at keeping the Liberals in power.”

    I am not a fan of Greens and I think it is infiltrated by extreme-left. Having said that some points of observation
    1. Greens having nothing to do with this defeat . Infact they lost about 40% of their PV.
    2. The main reason for the defeat is NP+ON+Shooters vote is about 57%.
    3. Gladys personal appeal. That is a big shield protecting LNP.

  4. Lars 8.52am

    Lars you have hit the nail right on the head hence my frustration at why the hell Labor doesn’t start being an opposition that actually believes in something and start selling it. We have to move completely away from coal

  5. In NSW ALP, at least since Richo became General Secretary beliefs and principles have taken second place to “whatever it takes”.
    After 45 years of this attitude it is reasonable to ask what the NSW ALP stands for.

  6. “Oakeshott Countrysays:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 9:06 am
    In NSW ALP, at least since Richo became General Secretary beliefs and principles have taken second place to “whatever it takes”.
    After 45 years of this attitude it is reasonable to ask what the NSW ALP stands for.”

    Don’t blame it on Richo. After Richo became General secretary, Wran and Carr governed NSW for a long time and ALP governed at federal level for 13 years.
    Also, a Godfather needs a Luca Braci to do dirty work.
    Labor is at this stage do not have good leaders at Federal and NSW level. Australian politics is leadership driven. Otherwise what meaning does Leader approval/ disapproval or better PM rating have in Westminster system?

  7. Looks like a lot of parochialism in this electorate, with both major parties going backwards and the winning Nats majority 2PP vote is currently even lower than at the last election, just under 39% of total formal vote.
    Exhausted vote is even higher than Labor 2pp final total currently as well, looks like exhausted votes will be almost a third of all votes on current trend (33% exhaust currently on ABC results page).

    Early voting so far is looking even worse for both Labor and Nats than polling day votes.
    Looking at the distribution of swings map at the Tallyroom, it was really mostly the SE corner where the Nat candidate was from that saw any significant swing to them.

    With OPV it seems this could be a thing more broadly in NSW if the vote fragments and MPs are less likely to ever have any majority of constituents backing them.

    A bit disappointing for local Greens I’d guess but actually strong local rural indies always suck up rural Greens votes so not so surprising to me. Seems like Tracy Norman was a strong local indie in her area, getting 23% in Dungog and high votes in surrounding booths, sucking up heaps of Labor and some Greens votes it seems, with O’Connell doing well in more agricultural areas to the north. Don’t think this reflects much at all on broader Greens vote. Everyone knows where they stand on coal and climate and there’s nowhere in NSW that pro-coal rhetoric probably impacted more right now.

    Even then, total coal-booster vote seems down overall I think, even with SFF and ON. With both O’Connell and Norman indies not for more more coal I believe.

    With such a focus on this single bi-election and debate around coal jobs and climate culture wars it seems like hardly any other issue or concern got a look in. Though evidently there are issues like health, air quality, housing and education that will be immediate and ongoing problems aside from the reality that coal is on the way out. This whole area could be in a very different reality a few years down the track when coal is really not an option anymore.

    Seems this electorate would never be as central to political outcomes as it might appear in the current circumstance, even though it will certainly be affected by both the climate changes coming and the requisite social and economic changes that will be required to address and deal with the climate changes.

  8. Hmm, Labor fails to win a by-Election for a seat they have not held in a 100 years is hardly a test for Labor or it’s Leadership.

    The political issue today and exemplified by Insiders discussion is Covid and the pandemic.

    Obviously, Gladys is getting kudos for her handling of the issue (for better or worse). The voters were likely aware that a change of representation here would bring instability to the Parliament and people just weren’t interested in that outcome at this time.

    Couple that with rising house prices persuading people that they were doing OK and an economic boom driven by Government handouts means there is no over riding reason to overturn the status quo.

    A full Election nearly two years away will be fought on different issues than this by-Election. Gladys may be gone, Covid may be neutralised and the electoral pendulum may swing due to the economic circumstances at that time.

  9. what meaning does Leader approval/ disapproval or better PM rating have in Westminster system?

    Oooh, I can answer that! Literally nothing. Australian political history is littered with allegedly popular leaders whose party was defeated at the ballot box, and indeed, visa-versa on occasion as well.

    Not to mention that a sitting leader always benefits from massively higher name recognition that seems to translate more or less universally into higher preferred leader ratings.

    Leader popularity is just a wonk conceit that only serves to give political journalists and PB commentators a narrative to build stories around and simplifies election reporting, but ultimately Australians have proven time after time after time that they vote for parties, not leaders. The Nationals are very particular beneficiaries of this.

  10. Kudos to GG and c@t for showing up following ur party’s defeat .

    It’s always a measure of a poster or a person to show up when things don’t go your way.

  11. C@t

    Look, the basic problem with the ALP is that it is tribal in the most petty political way and it is full of self-entitled wannabes of no particular talent other than embedded themselves like ticks into the party. Honestly, speaking of friendly jordies, I don’t know why he hasn’t already been drafted into a seat like Michael Daley’s because that guy had his run and lost and so should move out of the way for real talent to take his place.

    Well spotted. I hear an insider say, around 2013, that they had never seen a group of people “whose opinions of themselves were so far in excess of their actual abilities”.

    On the other hand, hope springs from a few names who could bring renewal, such as Jihad Dib, that have been mentioned in the last 24 hours.

  12. “Douglas and Milkosays:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 11:29 am
    On the other hand, hope springs from a few names who could bring renewal, such as Jihad Dib, that have been mentioned in the last 24 hours.”

    He may be really talented. From what little I know about how people voted till now, those kind of names bring out prejudices out of Australian people and LNP will not have any hesitation in exploiting them.

  13. Labor has quite a few people sitting in Safe State seats in NSW whose best years are behind them.

    That would seem like a logical place to start on renewal – you would have to make sure those seats go to people who could be future cabinet ministers or leaders not younger hacks.

    That’s party management 101 – not sure why that isn’t/ hasn’t happened.

  14. ‘Quoll says:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 10:15 am

    A bit disappointing for local Greens I’d guess…’

    The Greens lost about a quarter of their vote.’

    The main message for the Greens is that the Greens are well and truly on the nose in regional electorates. 97% of the electorate voted against the Greens. This is after 30 years of the Greens knowing what is best for the regions.

    The main message for Labor is that messages from the Greens to Labor about what policies Labor ought to take to the regions are electoral poison.

  15. That’s party management 101 – not sure why that isn’t/ hasn’t happened.

    It’s really not rocket science Lars. The reason is that the people responsible for party management, either directly or via mutually assured destruction stability pacts, are ultimately those same people sitting in safe seats whose best years are behind them. It’s the logical and inevitable outcome of completely locking day to day party membership out of any and all decisions concerning the party.

  16. boerwar says:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    It’s interesting that in an Electorate that feels the impact of fires and floods and changing climate so much more than inner city electorates rejects the Greens so decisively. I do hope the Greens don’t ask themselves why nor assess what changes they could make.

  17. AngoraFish says:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    “It’s the logical and inevitable outcome of completely locking day to day party membership out of any and all decisions concerning the party.”

    It’s the Union’s party. They started it. They pay for it. Unsurprisingly they want control of it.

  18. I guess some embittered old bores should close their eyes and stop up their ears lest they hear Albo finally committing Labor to ending the Indue card as the Greens, numerous regional card holders and social welfare organisations have been asking for.

    Or maybe they will just accept their electoral poison as actually good medicine.

    Labor promises to scrap ‘privatised’ cashless welfare card if elected
    Anthony Albanese says trial scheme, run by financial services firm Indue, introduces ‘profit motive’ above public interest

    The government says the card is aimed at reducing social harm and encouraging financial literacy, but welfare groups, the Greens and many cardholders themselves have called on the government to immediately axe the scheme.

    Critics, including cardholders themselves as well as the myriad research, have said it causes shame and stigma, is plagued by technical issues and makes life more difficult by limiting a person’s access to the cash economy.

  19. Gee Quoll who are you going to smear today?

    Any apology for the smear on Tony Burke’s wife? Or, do the greens never do retractions because that would be a sign of weakness?

  20. I guess it should be pointed out that the Greens in Upper Hunter only got 3.6% of the primary vote, if that’s my contribution to the neverending Labor vs Greens war on PB.

  21. Something about the Overland Journal story on cooking the NT with gas I linked to re Labor and links to gas companies and donations after Tony Burke was on Q and A? Only reference I’ve ever made.

  22. Quoll,


    You are just a smug smearer of anyone that disagrees with you. You take it to a new low by smearing partners of your perceived opponents

    Greens always fail to check their facts!

    You are a disgrace.

  23. Evan: I don’t imagine the Shooters would do too well if they ran in Newtown, either. (And that’s a party that just got its vote halved here!)

    Borewar: people vote for parties, not against them. Being able to put plus and minus signs in the boxes instead of numbers would certainly be an interesting way to vote (like up/downvoting things on Reddit), but that isn’t the way it works. The 96% who didn’t vote for the Greens doesn’t mean they hate the Greens with every fibre of their being, like you do. It simply means they preferred someone else.

  24. The final prepoll 2pp is in.
    Its currently Nats 16236 – 55.4%
    Labor 13097 – 44.6%
    A difference of 3139 votes with a swing of 2.8% to the Nats.
    With postals and ivotes to come which may cancel each other out and not much else, things should not change much now to the final result if there is no major errors.
    Things panned out fairly well in the campaign for the Nats and it was a fine effort but the government could face further headwinds coming in the months ahead so things won’t be easy.

  25. I don’t think any party comes out of this looking all that good. A seat once so safe for the Nats that it was held by their leader is marginal – slightly less marginal than last week, but the bottom’s still fallen out of their vote since 2011. The Greens and Shooters have had a reminder that their vote can easily go elsewhere (Greens to O’Connell, Shooters to One Nation).

    As for NSW Labor? There’s plenty that could be said about that utter embarrassment of a state branch, but I’ll just quote something from the candidate:

    Following his preselection, Drayton told the Daily Telegraph he would be “just as loud just as often” as his pro-mining federal counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon, specifically regarding “inner-city greenies telling us what to do”

    This, apparently, is how you lose 7.6% of the vote: promise to be like Joel Fitzgibbon.

  26. Nah, Ashleigh Raper was suggesting Michael Daley wants to be NSW Labor leader again – if that came to pass again, the Libs/Nats would be in government for another 15 years at least.
    My guess is Jodi hangs on until Head Office can come up with a candidate who’d beat Chris Minns in a leadership vote, because the honchos at head office hate Minns.

  27. Well Bob Carr’s greatest triumphs were with about 42% of the vote. NSW Labor had about 33% in 2019.

    With OPV Labor would need a swing of about 10% from 2019 to regain majority government.

    Seems like 25% under Kristina Keneally in 2011 is back on the cards.

  28. What does Albo do? Stay out of the NSW Branch – or do an intervention? If he intervenes , remnant Labor will guarantee a defeat, if he stays out of it? What then?

  29. I just learned about KayJay.

    I’m glad to have known him. He was a star among us. Someone to aspire to. He will be deeply missed.


    KayJay’s grandson: Should you happen to read this, please accept my heartfelt thanks for taking time from your grief to let us know. Your grandfather was much loved here, and respected. If you ever feel like posting yourself, your presence would be welcome on this blog. Take care.

  30. OC (or anyone else): why does Keneally get to be a senator, with a result like that on her record? Colin Barnett doesn’t get to be one. Anna Bligh doesn’t. “Worst defeat of a sitting govt in the last 50 years, under my leadership” isn’t usually something that looks good on the resume, yet she got promoted to federal level.

  31. KKs has already failed in Bennelong and her selection as senator at the time was described as a “shit fight”. From memory Mundine was in line and this was the final stroke for him

  32. William Bowe says:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    “Keneally’s situation was different because she obviously was accepting a poisoned chalice.”

    The ALP seem to have a habit of doing that to incoming female premiers: Joan Kirner, Carmen Lawrence, Anna Bligh, KK.

  33. “Bucephalussays:
    Monday, May 24, 2021 at 1:08 pm
    William Bowe says:
    Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    “Keneally’s situation was different because she obviously was accepting a poisoned chalice.”

    The ALP seem to have a habit of doing that to incoming female premiers: Joan Kirner, Carmen Lawrence, Anna Bligh, KK.

    If Anna Bligh got a poisoned chalice from Beattie, then so did Gladys B from Mike Baird.

  34. truth and perspective:


    Something sorely missing.

    Until yesterday’s excruciating press conference catharsis by Jodie McKay, where she totally brought into ‘the narrative’ (a test for Labor, and only Labor) surrounding this byelection, which I watched on Facebook as I was commuting for work, she had my 100% support. Now she’s finished: an overcooked chook. Alex Smith openly laughing in Jodi’s face was just embarrassing.

    I see this afternoon’s shenanigans are aimed at the party ‘avoiding another damaging’ rank and file ballot for the leadership. This is another potential misstep: perhaps a rank and file ballot – with a corresponding 4 to 6 week campaign season of debates and forums is what is needed for a proper reset.

    meanwhile ‘the narrative’ continues, such that its apparently unremarkable that for three successive elections in a row the National Party primary vote has collapsed: for 80 years it used to oscillate somewhere between 50 and 70% (even through the Wran-slide and Carr-slide years), but after Souris retired the National party vote has gone 38 to 34 to now 31% – and it faces serious headwinds in the bush more generally from both the Shooters and ON.

    There was one major party that recorded a record low primary vote on Saturday and it wasn’t labor: it was the National party. Unremarkable and apparently there are no lessons to be learnt there either.

    While labor’s primary looks like its dropped below 22%, the ideologically purist parties – the Greens, Sustainable Australia and Animal Justice – all dropped as well. Whilst the anti-coal independent went sort of ok (she’ll get her deposit back) its pretty hard to argue that the byelection was some sort of vindication for left wing and climate change purism. Quoll, P1 and guytaur – and their camp followers – will undoubtedly argue that black is white, and/or that the bush doesn’t matter, and/or not every regional seat is a coal seat. Blah de Blah.

    Meanwhile (and aside from Saturday’s blip) – looking at the federal political landscape – nobody in the ‘progressive’ camp – not labor, not progressive independents and certainly not the greens are seemingly capable of winning more than about single seat outside the city limits – so straight away the progressive plurality is starting at 0-50 behind in the race for 76 seat and the treasury benches. Given that a whole bunch of seats inside the city limits are full of rich bastards who colonise places like Sydney’s north shore, the hills and inner east (and the equivalent leafy burbs in the other major capitals) the pathway for the progressive plurality to get above its current combined 70 seats … is fraught.

  35. The ALP’s 20% or so first preference vote was truly pitiful and no amount of ‘but it’s a Nat seat that the ALP was never going to win’ rhetoric negates that fact.

    No point in keeping a failed leader and so the ALP should move on. And if the next one doesn’t work within 12 months, move on again.

  36. So you’ve been suckered into ‘the narrative’ as well Historyintime. Goodo.

    Your ‘churn’ of leaders every 12 months idea sounds just ‘brilliant’. Who decides whether a leader ‘doesn’t work’? Is the benchmark say 3 bad state polls in a row and you’ve out? Or, three nasty articles in a row by Alex Smith and you’ve gone?

    Maybe not buying into a narrative that is a confection of the LNP and 9Faix and not panicking about a nothing burgher of a byelection where the votes in a National Party seat exploded 5 seperate ways – in the middle of a pandemic where folk really want their governments to succeed – and where the net result – a 2.5% 2PP swing towards ‘our hero, Glad’ barely makes par when considered against other recent election results … maybe not freaking out would be a good start.

    Unfortunately Jodi committed seppuku on the lawns behind Parliament House yesterday afternoon. So she’s finished.

    I think the party should take the next two months – while Glad is basking in the glow of her covid awesomeness (just ask Coorey) to hold a proper ‘primary season’ type leadership campaign leading to a rank and file vote for the candidate that can convince some real people (like rank and file ALP members) they have the plan and the moxy to pull it off. There is still 22 months to the next election after all.

  37. Tom – 70% of that electorate are very conservative folk. They didn’t just stop being very conservative for in the last 3 elections. The electorate boundaries don’t seem to change that much: there are two LGA areas in the middle that might be potentially Labor positive, but they are stranded from the labor heartland in the south east of the Hunter and are surrounded by conservative enclaves regardless of how the boundaries might vary slightly.

    Conservative folk haven’t broken progressive: they have just fallen out of a habit of voting National party – especially when the NP put up candidates like Michael Johnson.

    The 2PP margin is artificially narrow because of the amount of conservative folk who vote for another conservative voice – shooters and/or ON and then exhaust their vote rather than allocate a preference to either major.

    ON or Shooters have a much better chance of finally toppling the NP in the upper hunter – probably the Shooters because ON seems to have something of a ceiling on their overall support, whereas the Shooters have demonstrated that they can cobble together coalitions and actually topple the Nats in the bush.

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