Viva La Gong – and that other election

Yesterday I voted at our local polling station just over the road from The Bates Motel. It was a NSW by-election for the Legislative Assembly seat of Wollongong. Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery had another go. He tried before in 2011. That was close:

Wollongong

home_standingI suggested yesterday that Noreen Hay could be out of a job.  It’s looking very likely with an enormous swing against her and in favour of Uniting Church minister Gordon Bradbery (right). Fred Nile and the Christian Democrat types are not fond of Mr Bradbery.

  • Last Updated: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:31:15
  • Roll: 50,519
  • Votes Counted: 69.1%
  • Booths Counted Primary Vote: 29/29
  • Booths Counted 2CP: 29/29

The two-party preferred result thus far is Bradbery 50.2% and Hay 49.8%.

In the end Noreen Hay won.

This time around new Labor candidate Paul Scully has clearly won.

The most interesting of the three by-elections held yesterday was the Central Western NSW seat of Orange.

The Shooters and Fishers Party may take the electorate of Orange, with the NSW Nationals party facing a devastating swing after Saturday’s by-election.

The NSW Nationals had held the electorate by more than 21 per cent, but with more than 50 per cent of votes counted led by a margin of just 3.5 per cent.

The Shooters and Fishers Party could be on the cusp of taking the electorate, after a backlash against the Nationals over the failed greyhound racing ban and council amalgamations.

The Nationals candidate in Orange, Scott Barrett, is a former ABC reporter who later worked for Bob Katter and in recent years has been a policy adviser to the Baird Government.

Anger over the Baird Government’s earlier efforts to impose a ban on greyhound racing was expected to see many Nationals voters cast a protest vote.

That is despite the State Government reversing the greyhound ban after weeks of intense pressure from Nationals MPs, three of whom crossed the floor to vote against the industry shutdown.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party candidate, Philip Donato, is a police prosecutor who campaigned strongly against the greyhound ban….

The issue of council amalgamations was also expected to drive Nationals supporters in Orange to send their vote elsewhere, with many locals angry Cabonne and Blayney are set to amalgamate with Orange.

Both sides of politics have been campaigning hard in Orange in recent weeks, with Government ministers and Opposition MPs making regular visits to the town.

Radio kingpins Alan Jones and Ray Hadley — fierce critics of the greyhound ban — told listeners to put the Nationals last, and both hosts had been in Orange this week…

See also The Poll Bludger.

After voting I got to Wollongong’s Crown Street Mall just in time to see the Viva La Gong Parade.

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Multicultural Wollongong, bless you! Pics from The Illawarra Mercury. See more,

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