Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest has been returned for a third term, but with a much reduced margin.
Mr Provest’s personal margin of around 21 per cent has been cut to around two per cent in the swing against the coalition which saw his party colleague Thomas George in the seat of Lismore defeated with the help of a big Green vote, while the Nationals’ candidate for Ballina Kris Beavis missed out on succeeding the retiring Don Page.
Mr Provest claimed a scare campaign by Labor and the unions affected his once comfortable buffer, which was around double the state average.
He told media he felt there had been a lot of misinformation about the sale of the state’s electricity network, and that there ‘will be no sale or lease of poles and wires in regional NSW’.
Labor’s Ron Goodman said he was encouraged by the big swing of support, which was ‘a stunning rejection of the National Party’s agenda’, including the selloff of the poles and wires.
In the latest count available on the electoral commission website, with 28,074 votes counted from an enrolment of 53,491, Mr Provest had 12,702 first-preference votes (45.24 per cent of the total), Mr Goodman 10,082 (35.91 per cent) and the Greens’ Andrea Vickers 4,179 (14.89 per cent).