McCurdy leads race

Na­tion­als on track de­spite re­sult go­ing to pref­er­ences

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­[email protected]­me­

TIM McCurdy looks al­most cer­tain to re­tain the seat of Ovens Val­ley for the Na­tion­als but for the first time since 2002 it has gone to pref­er­ences to be de­cided.

And lo­cal anti-vi­o­lence cam­paigner Ta­nia Maxwell (Der­ryn Hinch Jus­tice Party) was right in con­tention to take one of five Up­per House seats for North­ern Vic­to­ria in her first ven­ture into pol­i­tics.

As of yes­ter­day Mr McCurdy se­cured 45.26 per cent of the pri­mary votes (55.45% in 2014) with 81.9 per cent of the votes counted with La­bor’s Kate Doyle on 19.99 per cent (22.15% in 2014) and In­de­pen­dent Tammy Atkins on 19.86 per cent.

On sec­ond pref­er­ences Mr McCurdy jumped to 63.33 per cent with Ms Doyle on 36.67 per cent.

Mr McCurdy won the most votes at ev­ery booth ex­cept one, Wandiligong, where Ms Doyle scored three more votes.

“It’s not done yet, there’s still a cou­ple of thou­sand votes to go, but there have been good pref­er­ence num­bers for us so far,” said the Na­tion­als in­cum­bent since 2010.

“I’m thrilled there has been a lot of vot­ers who didn’t give me their pri­mary vote but gave me their sec­ond pref­er­ence.

“If peo­ple re­ally didn’t like the job I was do­ing they could have done just that and put me fur­ther down the bal­lot.”

Mr McCurdy said it ap­peared the Na­tion­als would lose just one seat (Mil­dura) fol­low­ing Satur­day’s re­sult which saw their Coali­tion part­ner’s sup­port dec­i­mated and La­bor in­crease its ma­jor­ity in State Par­lia­ment.

“The mes­sage out of Mel- bourne (Lib­er­als) was all on broad is­sues but when it comes to your elec­torate it’s lo­cal is­sues that count,” he said.

“You’ve got to see it, touch it, smell it.”

Mr McCurdy said he was un­aware about the full page ad­vert in Fri­day’s Wan­garatta Chron­i­cle autho­rised by the Na­tional Party’s state of­fice at­tack­ing Tammy Atkins un­til he saw it in the pa­per.

“I don’t like it and I think Ovens Val­ley vot­ers pre­fer the pos­i­tive mes­sage which is why our cam­paign was a pos­i­tive one,” he said.

Mr McCurdy said, how­ever, that the neg­a­tiv­ity did go both ways at times, par­tic­u­larly at some of the polling booths on Satur­day.

“Whether that was due to the ad­vert I don’t know but it it’s not all one-sided,” he said.

PHO­TOS: Tate Spi­teri

DE­CI­SION TIME: Smaller crowds flocked to the Myrtle­ford Unit­ing Church Hall on Satur­day af­ter the pop­u­lar­ity of the re­laxed pre-polling rules. Tim McCurdy won the vote at the Myrtle­ford booth and is ex­pected to re­tain his seat.

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