Australia

Nationals and Liberals divided over seat of Hunter candidate

Nationals and Liberals divided over seat of Hunter candidate

A bitter Coalition clash is brewing over whether a Nationals or Liberal candidate should be put forward for northern NSW seats which saw a significant swing against Labor at the last federal election. The Labor heartland seats of Hunter and Shortland in NSW have not been won by a member of the Coalition for nearly 50 years but at the 2019 election Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon copped a 9.5 per cent swing against him in the two-party preferred category. Senior Nationals claim the parties pro-coal policies better align with the people of the Hunter Valley with Nationals Senator Matt Canavan saying, “we’ve been chipping away at this; the Nationals party have been running in the seat of Hunter for decades”. “The Nationals have to run in the best interests of the Coalition to keep up that fight for the coal mining industries, for the farming industries of the Hunter region,” he said. “I think we’ll beat the Liberal party in the Hunter region every day of the week.” Under the Coalition agreement both the Nationals and the Liberals are entitled to run for a Labor held seat.

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