THE Liberal Party has expressed its bitterness at the alleged failure of Nationals’ federal leader Barnaby Joyce to encourage his party’s Indi voters to direct their second preference to Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella in the 2016 federal election.
An estimated 40 per cent of Nationals’ votes cast at the Wangaratta pre-poll centre in the weeks leading to Saturday’s count favoured Indi Independent Cathy McGowan ahead of Mrs Mirabella.
An assessment on Monday by Ms McGowan’s campaign team confirmed scrutineers’ views from Saturday night’s tally that about 1130 primary votes from the 2824 cast for Nationals’ candidate Marty Corboy in the Wangaratta pre-poll favoured Ms McGowan.
The Independent incumbent won the booth with 4145 primary votes compared with 3015 for Mrs Mirabella.
On a two-candidate preferred basis, Ms McGowan profited from a swing of 1.71pc, with the count dividing 6360 for Ms McGowan and 5436 for Mrs Mirabella.
Ms McGowan benefited similarly from the Wodonga and Benalla pre-poll two candidate-preferred distribution, securing swings in her favour of 3.92pc and 3.37pc, respectively.
Indi Liberal federal electoral divisional council president Tony Schneider said the Nationals’ preference flow away from Mrs Mirabella became more pronounced from south to north.
This post is part of the thread: 2016 Federal Election – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.