BARNABY Joyce recorded the largest swing in by-election history and retained his seat by a massive majority. Tomorrow the Australian Electoral Commission will officially declare the writ at midday in Armidale, after which, Mr Joyce will be sworn in as the New England MP, and reinstated as the Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister.
Mr Joyce said he was “incredibly humbled” by the strong show of support from the electorate.
The results showed a swing of more than 12 per cent towards Mr Joyce, who holds 65 per cent of the primary vote in New England and 84 per cent in Walcha.
“I’m going to make sure I honour the vote by going back to working as hard as I can immediately,” Mr Joyce said. “A lot of people that have never voted for me have voted for the National Party and me this time. I’m going to do my very best to be a workaholic for them. I think people were attracted to our plan for the region. They don’t want to hear about philosophical arguments – they want to know how you’re going to keep the lights on at the Tamworth Tennis Club or fix the veranda at Uralla's CWA.”
Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes and Council general manager Jack O’Hara both said they were pleased with the result.
“Nationally Mr Joyce's reelection should restore some stability to the Federal Government,” said Mr Noakes. “From a council perspective his win reflects the work he puts into his electorate and we look forward to a continued partnership.”
Mr O’Hara said Council congratulated Mr Joyce.
“Council looks forward to continuing the positive partnership to deliver outstanding benefits for our community,” he said.
Mr Joyce thanked his campaign team and his electorate office staff, along with everyone who voted for him.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to work and obviously a lot of people are looking forward to having be back because my phone has been running red hot,” he said.
“I’ve got my horses tie on to remind me to giddy up and get going.”