The community of the Orange by-election has sent a message loud and clear to the Baird Government as the National Party end their 69 years in the position. Philip Donato, candidate for Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, has now been elected Member for Orange by a margin of 50 votes.
Donato won the seat despite receiving only 23 per cent of first preference votes. This is the first time in the party’s 21 year history that the party has an elected Member of Parliament to the Lower House of any jurisdiction. After a drawn out election result due to a recount, the final result was announced Monday afternoon with Philip Donato humbled with the results. “At the start of this election campaign I came with one premise: that the electorate of Orange deserves better. The result we have shows that it is what people wanted here,” said Philip Donato.
Scott Barrett Nationals candidate congratulated Donato on becoming the Member of Orange and thanked him for his upstanding respectful way in which he conducting himself during the campaign. Barrett says, “I have secured a significant number of commitments from the NSW government and I will continue to fight for these commitments and ensure they will be honoured. A clear message was sent from the people of the Central West at this by-election, and it’s a message that must be heeded.”
There has been much speculation on the election results with many believing the change in the seat came due to the backlash from the attempted shutdown of the greyhound industry and reaction to the council amalgamations. The coming weeks will see more details come as Philip Donato sets up his office in Orange and gathers his team together.