INDI will stay an ‘Independent’ federal electorate after Cathy McGowan’s anointed successor, Helen Haines, clinched a decisive victory in the federal election yesterday.
Despite polling ahead on primary votes and achieving a swing of more than three per cent, Liberal candidate Steve Martin was not able to garner sufficient preferences to reclaim the seat his party’s predecessor, Sophie Mirabella, lost to Ms McGowan in 2013, and again in 2016 – and saw Indi stamp itself on the national stage as an electorate seeking change away from major parties.
Amid a seas of hundreds of euphoric ‘orange t-shirt’ supporters crammed into the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre on Saturday night, Dr Haines made an emotional declaration that she was “absolutely overwhelmed, grateful and very humbled” to be given “the greatest privilege that could be bestowed upon a person”.
She committed to keep her promise to the electorate to “work hard” and represent the agenda which the people of Indi had identified, with action of climate change the key issue.
Dr Haines said ‘people power’ had again seen Indi buck the trend like no other electorate in Australia, creating it’s own piece of history by becoming the first time in Australia’s 118 year federal history that one Independent candidate had been elected after another.
Full election coverage in tomorrow’s edition of the Wangaratta Chronicle.
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