Nationals fail to claim one Byron Shire polling booth despite winning popular vote in Richmond
Byron Shire has bucked the nationwide trend to vote conservatively in the the lower house, with Greens candidate Dawn Walker taking 12 of the 18 polling booths.
And while Labor’s Justine Elliot claimed six Byron Shire booths, Na- tionals candidate Matthew Fraser failed to secure even one, despite gaining the majority of Richmond’s primary vote.
The federal electorate of Richmond spans from Tweed Heads down to Lennox Head and west to Nimbin (excluding Lismore).
With 27,822, or 37.69 per cent of the primary votes, Mr Fraser beat Labor’s Mrs Elliot at 24,877 or 33.7 per cent. However, Greens preferences brought her comfortably past the post.
In fact, the Greens improved their performance locally from the 2010 election by 1.36 per cent with 12,928, or 17.51 per cent of the vote. Ms Walker had a particularly strong showing in Mullumbimby (960 votes to Elliott’s 596) and in Federal (206–128).
And newcomer Phil Allen from Palmer United Party attained 7.51 per cent while John Ordish of the Christian Democrats and independent Kevin Skinner earned 1.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.
Preference counts for the senate, or upper house, have yet to be finalised.
Without a strong Greens vote from Byron Shire and surrounding towns, Richmond may well have seen a conservative win as in the electorate of Page, located south of Richmond.
Page includes Ballina, Casino, Ky- ogle, Yamba, Lismore and Grafton. Long- serving Labor MP Janelle Saf- fin has been ousted from that seat by Nationals’ Kevin Hogan, who gained 46.92 per cent of the primary vote to Saffin’s 38.82 per cent.