Labor’s Ms Liesl Tesch was declared winner of the April 8 by-election in the NSW electorate of Gosford, achieving a swing (before preferences) of 10.9 per cent to Labor.
Ms Tesch won 49.5 per cent of the primary vote consisting of 22,931 votes that translated to 62.5 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. She won the primary vote in every polling booth in the electorate except four (Kulnura, Mangrove Mountain, Mount White and Peats Ridge). Her popularity on the Peninsula, where she resides, was resounding.
Four of her six biggest poll results were at Ettalong Public School (1216 primary votes out of a possible 2360), 1063 votes at Woy Woy South Public School (out of 1808), 1053 at Umina Uniting (out of 1806) and 1049 at Umina Public School (out of 2096). Full booth-by-booth results are available on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website. Liberal candidate, Ms Jilly Pilon achieved 14,202 primary votes, an 11.9 per cent swing against the Coalition.
The Greens, who ran a strong candidate in corporate lawyer, Ms Abigail Boyd achieved 7.5 per cent of the primary vote but that was a swing of 1.5 per cent against the party in the Gosford electorate. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate, Mr Larry Freeman, whose family has strong ties to the Peninsula, achieved 2376 primary votes or 5.1 per cent of the primary vote. Ms Skyla Wagstaff from the Animal Justice Party and Mr Andrew Church for the Christian Democratic Party both polled under 2000 primary votes.
The number of formal votes counted on the day was 46,279 representing 97.3 per cent of those registered to vote. Ms Tesch celebrated her victory with supporters at Everglades Country Club, Woy Woy, on April 8. Ms Tesch said she felt fantastically supported by the community and that she would be fighting for Gosford in NSW parliament for years to come.
“I will do all in my power to keep the Government accountable for the decisions they make that affect the lives of people on the Central Coast,” Ms Tesch said. Ms Tesch outlined the key issues identified by the people of her electorate during her time on the campaign trail, including feeling ripped off by the Council amalgamation and the removal of services throughout the electorate by the Liberal Government.
SOURCES: Press conference, 9 Apr 2017 Liesl Tesch, Member- for Gosford Website, 13 Apr 2017 Gosford by-election results NSW Electoral Commission
This article appeared first in The Peninsula News print edition