The National Party’s 33 year-reign over this part of the world looks set to continue.
The Nationals’ candidate for Murray, Austin Evans, is likely to win Saturday’s by-election, despite a big swing against his party.
Some two-thirds of the vote has been counted, with Austin Evans winning 40.4 per cent of the vote.
Helen Dalton of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers has won 31.5 per cent.
On a two-party preferred basis, the Nationals lead 53 per cent to 47 per cent.
The swing against the Nationals was a whopping 20 per cent.
Australia’s premier election expert, the ABC’s Antony Green, still thinks the Nationals are almost home.
“Looks like Nationals will hold #murray unless there is something remarkable in the postals and iVotes, which seems unlikely,” he tweeting Saturday evening.
Ms Dalton though will not concede defeat on Saturday, still hopeful that a strong showing among pre-poll votes will narrow the gap.
But it looks as if the former Murrumbidgee Shire mayor, Mr Evans, who lives in Coleambally, will now represent the Murray electorate in NSW Parliament, at least until the 2019 state election.
The Nationals Steph Cook also looks set to retain the seat of Cootamundra, by a more comfortable margin.
The Murray by-election was held due to the resignation of sitting Nationals member Adrian Piccoli.
Further reports on Sunday.
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