In the NSW seat of New England, an electorate larger than Tasmania, Independent candidate Adam Blakester (@adamblakester) has been named as the primary threat facing National Party incumbent, Barnaby Joyce.
A poll conducted by the Tamworth Business Chamber indicated Joyce was leading, with 46.4 per cent of the vote compared to 43.1pc who declared their support for Adam.
Margo Kingston (@margokingston1) spoke to Adam as he approaches the pointy end of the campaign, and discusses his views on strategic voting and how far he has come with crowdfunded campaign finance and the support of his small but loyal team of volunteers.
So many voters are so over the party politics and party agendas, particularly because of issues like leadership spills. We’ve seen fracturing of the Coalition and these personal ego agendas that they have to hold power, but also the influence of big business and big mining, which has been particularly graphic with the New England incumbent member, Barnaby Joyce, who is still even yesterday prosecuting the case for new coal mines and new coal-fired power stations.Adam Blakester
- Adam is calling for 100 additional volunteers to help on polling day [Sign up here]
Barnaby has attended three more [community forums] than usual, and I applaud him for doing that.Adam Blakester
Meet the candidate events are so important because it enables voters to compare and contrast policies between the candidates, but also to be able to ask the incumbent member to demonstrate their accountability and performance of their term in government.Adam Blakester
Barnaby cancelling the women’s forum and instead attending a networking event with one of the local chambers of commerce, that really has people riled up, because the womens’ forum and womens’ issues heading into this election are so important, and that sent a very poor message to not only the women of Tamworth but the electorate more generally.Adam Blakester
There seems to be more confidence and credibility in the capacity of independents to have influence in Parliament because they are working on shared priorities, they’re still independent, and they still have the freedom to represent their electorate, but where there is common ground and common priorities, as we’re seeing with climate change, on water security, with issues of proper governance, integrity and anti-corruption – then all of a sudden we’re seeing the potential for independents to have real influence and real voice in the parliament and the Australian government more generally.Adam Blakester