A traitor loses

In 2010 Oakeshott campaigned as an independent conservative in a  previously safe conservative electorate, the NSW north coast seat of Lyne.  He got 47% of the vote; the National party got 30% and the ALP got only 11%.  So it was clearly a very conservative electorate, that had overwhelmingly voted for conservatives.

So how did Oakeshott represent his voters?  By giving his support to Julia Gillard, the Labor party leader -- thus enabling her to form a minority government.  It was a crystal clear betrayal of the voters in Lyme.  A seat with only 11% of Labor voters was used to support Labor.

It made the Gillard government an essentially illegitimate government -- but no-one could do anything about that.  And Gillard proceeded to run up a huge national debt on hare-brained schemes over the next three years.  Oakeshott has much to answer for

So this time the voters were wised-up to hypocrite Oakeshott

Independent challenger for the NSW mid-north coast seat of Cowper Rob Oakeshott has told supporters a well-funded Nationals campaign of “fear, smears and beers” led to his defeat.

At a Sunday market picnic in Coffs Harbour with about 50 campaign supporters, Mr Oakeshott said he was “pretty gutted” at the outcome of his second tilt at the seat, this time seeing a slight swing against him at the hands of Nationals candidate Pat Conaghan.

With the bulk of the vote counted, Mr Conaghan leads Mr Oakeshott 57 per cent to 43 per cent on a two party preferred basis.

Mr Oakeshott, who was trying to make a come back after earlier stints in state and federal politics, commands considerable local loyalty, and he had to console many of his campaign supporters at the picnic this morning.

Freda Patterson, who has known Mr Oakeshott for three decades, said: “He’s one of the best products of Port Macquarie.”

The Nationals ran a saturation advertising and social media campaign against Mr Oakeshott including negative television and radio attack ads, noting he had supported the minority Labor government when he was the independent member for Lyne.

Robo calls in Mr Conaghan’s voice invited constituents to come and join him for a beer at different venues.

“Fear, smears and beers is probably what got us yesterday,” Mr Oakeshott told supporters.

Mr Oakeshott would not answer a question from The Australian on whether he might consider running again. But he told the congregation, most wearing campaign T-shirts: “Hopefully everyone can stay connected.

“I know this isn’t about me, it’s about driving a better area. “There are big and complex issues in our local electorate.”


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