FOR the first time in 20 years Calare’s federal representative will be a member of the government and is tipped to be sitting on the front bench.
The Nationals’ John Cobb was returned on Saturday night with a 5.56 per cent swing, reflecting a similar percentage felt across the nation.
A win for the Coalition was predicted for the safe seat, and the country, but Mr Cobb said he was relieved at the result.
“We always were quietly confident we’d get there, and that the Coalition would get there, but quite obviously it’s a strong win,” he said.
“I feel very humbled more than anything that the people of Calare have given me the confidence, but it’s not a free pass it’s very much about the people of Calare and Australia.”
On a two party preferred basis Mr Cobb bettered his 2010 result, taking 66.12 per cent compared to 33.88 per cent for Labor’s Jess Jennings.
At the 2010 election he won 60.74 per cent of the vote and Labor took 39.26 per cent.
With counting finished at 101 of 102 polling places, newcomer and Palmer United Party candidate Brian Cain came third in the election race taking 3962 first preference votes pipping Greens candidate David Mallard’s and his 3477 first preference votes at the post.
Independent Macgregor Ross took fifth place on 2162 first preference votes, also bettering his 2010 result, followed by the Christian Democratic Party’s Ian Lyons with 1454, Katter’s Australian Party’s Billie Kirkland on 1146, Australia First Party’s Peter Schultze on 886 and the Democratic Labour Party’s Anthony Craig on 685.