Coalition retains government; incumbents win Nicholls, Farrer

By Cobram Courier

Prime Minister Scott Morrison proclaimed a miracle had occurred after the Coalition’s victory in the federal election — a not-so-subtle hint that not even he had been confident of retaining the keys to The Lodge.

The LNP trailed Labor in all the major opinion polls for two years leading up to the election while the exit polls predicted a 51:49 Labor win on a two-party-preferred basis.

This prediction, in reality, was reversed and with more than 75 per cent of the vote counted, the LNP has won 76 seats and looks set to edge another which would seal a two-seat majority.

This would mark an improvement on the Coalition’s returns in 2016, a remarkable result considering betting agency Sportsbet paid out $1.3million to people who placed money on Bill Shorten to become the next prime minister — two days before the election.

While most were surprised about the Coalition’s ability to retain government, there wasn’t an eyelid batted when incumbents Damian Drum and Sussan Ley won their respective seats of Nicholls and Farrer.

Mr Drum, who won the seat of Murray in 2016, won the newly-formed seat of Nicholls within an hour of polls closing.

He had a minor 1.5 per cent swing against him, however he leads Labor rival Bill Lodwick 71:29 on a two-party-preferred basis.

Across the river, Ms Ley held on to her seat with ease despite predictions of a genuine challenge from independent Kevin Mack.

Ms Ley had a nearly 7 per cent swing against her; however, with more than 80 per cent of the votes counted, she holds a 61:39 lead over Mr Mack on a two-party-preferred basis.

It’s a result a majority of Barooga voters may be dissatisfied with as Mr Mack picked up 52 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote in the town on election day.

The result may have been dubbed a miracle, but nothing has actually changed.