federal member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.01 April 2015Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate
federal member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.01 April 2015Photo Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

Hartsuyker retains the lead

LUKE Hartsuyker is confident of a substantial victory in the seat of Cowper, as counting gives him a comfortable lead over Independent Rob Oakeshott.

As of yesterday, 30% of the two-party preferred vote had been counted in the division with Mr Hartsuyker leading Mr Oakeshott 54.7% to 45.3%.

An analysis of individual polling stations show Mr Hartsuyker enjoyed comfortable majorities at Boambee (62.7%), Bonville (62%), Coffs Harbour (57%) and the postal vote (57.8%).

Mr Oakeshott was meanwhile popular in Bellingen (69.4%), Glennifer (63.1%) and Thora (63%).

The race was closer at Coffs Harbour Jetty where Mr Hartsuyker received 1123 votes to Mr Oakeshott's 1093.

As of yesterday, 58% of the Senate vote had also been counted in Cowper with the Liberal and Nationals leading 37.9% to Labor's 22.6%, the Greens' 8.9%, Pauline Hanson's One Nation's 6.2%, and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers' 3.4%.

In the two-party preferred vote in the seat of Page, the incumbent Nationals' Kevin Hogan had a 52.28% lead over Labor's Janelle Saffin with 86% of the vote counted.

Many polling stations that recently shifted into Page from Cowper favoured the Mr Hogan, including Woolgoolga (53%), Moonee Beach (59.27%), Nana Glen (57.8%) and Glenreagh (54.07%).

Sandy Beach, Corindi, Red Rock bucked the trend, with Labor votes ahead 52.8%, 55.6% and 52.6% respectively.

With nation-wide outcomes closer than predicted, Mr Hartsuyker said he had been surprised by some of the results.

"I was certainly surprised by swings in Eastern Sydney and the loss of all three seats in Tasmania, but I'm certainly delighted by the performance of the National Party," he said.

Mr Hartsuyker said he was not surprised by some of the results of some emerging Independents.

"Mayo was always going to be very interesting seat in the context of the emergence of the Nick Xenophon Team. Katter and Andrew Wilkie have been around a long time and Cathy McGowan, was always going to be a strong contender."

Asked if voters were becoming disillusioned with mainstream parties, Mr Hartsuyker said: "I'll leave it for the commentators to form a judgement on that."

"I'll certainly be working hard to represent the people of Cowper," he said.