Labor takes NSW but Nationals hold the north in state election

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh has been elected for a second term.

GURMESH Singh, the re-elected Member for Coffs Harbour, had a very mixed day on Saturday 25 March.

He was, of course, very pleased to have won his seat comfortably, but less so about no longer being part of the NSW Government.

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Ahead of Saturday’s election, the Nationals held Coffs Harbour with a comfortable margin of 10.8 percent.

Mr Singh’s opponents had hoped to exploit issues such as homelessness/housing affordability, logging and the Jetty Foreshore redevelopment, but these did not resonate with enough voters to make a difference.

As of Tuesday 28 March, with approximately 77 percent of votes counted, Mr Singh had won 51.7 percent of first preference votes, a positive swing of 8.9 percent from the last election.

With other candidates’ preferences factored in, Mr Singh won approximately 63 percent of the total vote, a 2.5 percent swing to the Nationals.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh told News Of The Area, “I want to thank the people of Coffs Harbour for putting their faith in me for another four years.”

Mr Singh said there will be a period of adaptation for his side of politics but he and his colleagues will hold the incoming government to account.

“We need to make sure that Coffs Harbour keeps receiving its fair share of funding,” Mr Singh said.

“Labor needs to respect the will of the people of Coffs Harbour.”

In Coffs Harbour, Labor’s Tony Judge received around 20.9 percent of first preference votes, Independent Sally Townley won 12.3 percent of votes, Tihema Elliston won 5.9 percent and Greens’ won 5.4 percent (results as of Tuesday 28 March).

In Oxley, the National Party’s Michael Kemp will succeed retiring Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey after a comfortable victory over Labor’s Gregory Vigors and Greens candidate Dominic King.

While Labor has won government, the state’s north coast is now firmly held by the Nationals, with the exception of Port Macquarie and Lismore.

Liberal candidate Leslie Williams won the seat in Port Macquarie.

Williams has been the sitting MP in the area since 2011, having been originally elected for the Nationals, before switching allegiance to the Liberals in 2021.

Lismore is the other electorate bucking the Nationals trend on the north coast, having been retained by Labor.

Opposing strategists will ‘return to the drawing board’ to try and determine why issues that won seats on the south coast were rejected by a majority of voters to the north.

By Andrew VIVIAN

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