Local Member Mark Coulton outside the early voting centre at Bourke PCYC, with ALP supporter Kath Sneddon, and early voters Peter Sharpe and Lee Sharpe Photo TWH
Mark Coulton has won a record fifth term in Parkes, and he has a message for the opposition and the city media.
“I spent two days in Bourke just before Election Day and listened to the concerns local people had,” Mr Coulton said.
“I was hearing a completely different story from the people of Bourke than the story repeated in the city media, and the people of Bourke turned out to be right.
“As the results came in with the coalition winning against all the odds, it became obvious to me that the people of Bourke knew more than the smart people of the Canberra Press Gallery” Mr Coulton said.
There was never any doubt that Mr Coulton would hang onto Parkes.
It is one of the safest Nationals seats in the country and Mr Coulton now equals former MP Michael Cobb as the most electorally successful representative for the seat since it was established in 1984.
Mr Coulton is now in his fifth term as the sitting member and he paid tribute to the courtesy of defeated ALP contender Jack Ayoub who conceded defeat by 9pm on Saturday.
An hour later, Mr Coulton had secured 66 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, with Mr Ayoub attracting just 34 per cent.
Mr Coulton said that while the broader community may have been surprised at Labor’s loss in the ‘unlosable election’, he was more surprised that the polls continued to predict a Labor win when he was hearing quite a different story out on the hustings.
“I was a little perplexed over the last month, speaking to people in the towns I represented, their views didn’t line up with what was being recorded in the media,” Mr Coulton said.
Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.