Political expert Antony Green and the team at the ABC have predicted Conargo’s Perin Davey is ‘‘likely’’ to gain an Australian Senate seat.
At the time of going to print, with 62 per cent of the vote yet to count, The Nationals candidate was just 133,069 votes short of winning the fifth NSW seat. Candidates must reach a quota of 429,241 votes to be elected.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) yesterday confirmed Coalition and Labor had already won two NSW seats each.
The Greens are expected to gain enough votes to pick up the final Senate spot, leaving them in a battle with One Nation for the final seat.
The Coalition joint ticket saw Ms Davey third on the ballot paper and early indications are showing a 2.5 per cent swing in their favour across the state.
A successful win for Ms Davey will see her as the only Nationals Party member to gain an upper house seat across the country.
While reluctant to celebrate just yet, a joyous infliction could be heard in Ms Davey’s voice when she spoke with the Southern Riverina News on Monday
‘‘The way the Senate works and with preferences, it’s really unpredictable because you don’t know if people have followed the how-to-vote cards,’’ she said.
‘‘In saying that, it’s looking good and certainly possible to get there, but I’m not calling anything until I get the call from the AEC.
‘‘From a Senate point of view, being so close to a quota this early in the count is positive; it’s a testament to the hard work the Coalition has done.’’
The NSW results, similar to the rest of the country’s polling, were surprising with Ms Davey’s chances initially predicted as ‘slim’.
‘‘I gave myself a 50/50 chance of getting elected. I have been surprised by the early good indicators so it has boosted my mood greatly,’’ Ms Davey said.
‘‘Essentially it will come down to preferences coming my way or going to One Nation.’’
On election day, the Nationals candidate started her day handing out how-to-vote cards at one of her local polling booths — Deniliquin High School — before travelling through voting booths in Lockhart and Wagga.
She joined National Party leader Michael McCormack to celebrate his victory in the lower house seat of Riverina.
Ms Davey said during her short time in Deniliquin Saturday morning, the mood towards her was positive.
The breakdown, at the time of going to print, is as follows:
●Barooga — Coalition 347, SFF 145, Labor 126, One Nation 75.
●Blighty — Coalition 69, SFF 61, One Nation 22, UAP 3.
●Berrigan — Coalition 324, SFF 94, Labor 57, One Nation 84.
●Finley — Coalition 620, SFF 163, Labor 112, One Nation 110.
●Jerilderie — Coalition 229, SFF 64, Labor 58, One Nation 52.
●Tocumwal — Coalition 511, SFF 106, Labor 134, One Nation 114.
If Ms Davey and the Coalition win the final spot it will have an important impact on the layout of the Senate with the Coalition increasing its majority from 31 to 33. This means it only needs the support of six crossbenchers to pass legislation.