‘We’re getting the band back together!’ said Malcolm Turnbull, upon hearing the massive victory Barnaby Joyce received in the New England by-election.
And massive it was – a 7.3% swing towards him, and primary vote of 64%.
Historically, by-elections in government held seats since WWII have resulted in the Government feeling swings away from them. This is clearly in the opposite direction and is so for three reasons:
He is a popular member, with a prominent position inside the government
He did not have an opposition candidate that was well known.
It’s recognised that he’s in a difficult situation!
Barnaby will take his seat in the House of Representatives once the vote is formally declared. Next stop – Bennelong on December 16