The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers say their strong showing in the Wagga byelection could see the party increase its hold on regional NSW in the March election.
The party’s Wagga candidate Seb McDonagh said the Liberals’ defeat was due to the long-term neglect of the bush, rather than the recent “political clown show” in Canberra.
“I spoke to thousands of people over the past month. Few were interested in leadership spills in Canberra,” he said.
“People were more concerned about our disgraceful roads, shortfall in policing and the lack of basic services around Wagga.
“Now that the Liberals have lost, we’ll see a lot more attention in this region. The government will try and buy this seat back.”
Mr McDonagh said he was delighted with his showing at the poll.
“Three weeks ago, nobody knew who I was. Our party had no branch or presence in Wagga.
“But we picked up 10 per cent of the vote; and almost 20 per cent in towns like Tumut, Adelong and Tarcutta.
“The preferences of our voters pushed the Independent ahead of the Libs to win the election. I’m happy about that.
“Our vote will keep growing. We were kingmakers this time, but we want to be kings the next. More and more regional towns will appreciate the power of voting against the government.”