Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has retained his seat in the New England electorate in what has been described as the biggest by-election swing to a sitting government in Australian federal political history.
The Nationals candidate received 55,716 votes, representing over 60 per cent of the primary vote, with a swing of 12.48 per cent.
From Cassilis, 78.81 per cent of votes were for Barnaby, while Gundy saw 83.22 per cent of voters back the National Party.
Barnaby also received over 73 per cent of the votes in Merriwa, 74.45 per cent from Murrurundi and 78.27 per cent from Scone.
Having been a field favourite leading up to the by-election, Barnaby’s win comes as no surprise. Though the Nationals candidate said he wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“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 vote for the National Party and me this time. I’m going to do my very best to be a workaholic for them.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull touted Barnaby’s win as a historic moment in Australian federal political history.
"This has been a stunning victory," Mr Turnbull said alongside Mr Joyce on stage at the Southgate Inn in Tamworth.
I’m going to make sure I honour the vote by going back to working as hard as I can.Barnaby Joyce.
"Barnaby Joyce has been re-elected member for New England with what appears to be the largest swing to the government in the history of by-elections in Australia.”
Mr Joyce’s success in New England comes after the unusual circumstances of the government’s dual-citizenship crisis. In October, the High Court announced Mr Joyce’s disqualification as a candidate following the discovery that he was a New Zealand citizen at the time of the 2016 election.
Though it seems his citizenship squabbles will soon be forgotten, and his plans for his electorate will be back in focus. Earlier this month, Mr Joyce said mobile phone towers, strong agricultural production and the thoroughbred industry were all among top funding priorities for the Upper Hunter region.