While Damian Drum won the newly-formed Federal seat of Nicholls within an hour of the polls closing on Saturday, One Nation’s Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell made her presence felt, picking up 11.27 per cent of the vote.
One Nation had five Lower House candidates standing in Victoria who, combined, won more than 29000 votes. Mrs Tyrrell was the most successful of the group, claiming more than a third of the total.
Mrs Tyrrell’s vote in Cobram was reflected across the electorate, though, she proved popular in Strathmerton, Yarroweyah and Katamatite where she polled between 15 and 18 per cent of the vote, enough to see her finish above Labor Party candidate Bill Lodwick in those towns.
Mrs Tyrrell, who voted in her home town of Invergordon, before spending election day in Shepparton, said it had been a positive experience overall and believed One Nation’s polling in the electorate suggested rural Victoria saw the party as a viable option.
‘‘We have given people a taste this time. I have three years to show people what I am all about,’’ she said.
‘‘Most voters wanted to get in and get out, but those who I did talk with were concerned about immigration and water.
‘‘The Nationals have let the people down and they want a party to take a stand and fight for them.’’
Mrs Tyrrell was surprised at the high pre-polling numbers, describing the early turnout as a real eye opener.
In Cobram, One Nation’s pre-polling percentage was about seven points lower than election day.