The moment Geoff Provest saw a 56.1% win prediction on an ABC TV projector he embraced daughter Holly.
The moment Geoff Provest saw a 56.1% win prediction on an ABC TV projector he embraced daughter Holly. Alina Rylko

Provest blames scare campaign for his margin cut

UPDATE, 10.07pm: Mr Provest now sits at around a 2% margin, in stark contrast to the last election result when he won with over a 20 point lead.

He blamed Labor's campaign tactics and the Electrical Trade Unions for the slide, which was about double the state average.

"I think there was a lot of misinformation about the sale of poles and wires. There will be no sale or lease of poles and wires in regional New South Wales," he said.

"I think the unions spent a lot of money campaigning and outspent me."

In defeat, Mr Goodman said the ALP's election campaign was the "highlight of his life" and that he "utterly" rejected claims of misinformation in his campaign.

"I'm incredibly heartened by the massive swing of support. In many ways it's a stunning rejection of the national party's performance of their agenda of privatisation of the electricity network."

 

UPDATE, 8.45pm: Provest has claimed victory in the seat of Tweed at a depleted margin from the 21 point lead he went into the election with.

 

UPDATE, 8.15pm: Provest looks set to be returned.

 

UPDATE, 6.05pm: The polls have closed and the counting of votes has now begun.   

 

ORIGINAL STORY:   TWEED Shire voters have until 6pm to cast their votes today in the seats of Tweed, or for Murwillumbah residents in the Lismore seat. 

The Tweed seat is held by National's MP Geoff Provest with a margin of 21.7%, while Lismore is held by Nationals MP Thomas George on a margin of 24%.

Mr Provest visited Centaur Public School to cast his vote, before visiting other polling booths around the electorate.

"It's tough out there. I've always said it's going to be very tight. It's good to see people out and about," he said.

"There is a fight and the people of Tweed will decide."

Mr Provest expressed disappointment at Unionist volunteers at the Tweed River High School polling booth, against the lease of NSW electricity assets.

"I'm disappointed the bright shirts were out there yelling at voters. It was a bit over the top," he said.

The seats of Tweed, Lismore and Ballina were a focal point for Labor's state election campaign.

While not marginal, based on 2011 election figures, Tweed would be a Labor held seat.

A March 19 Fairfax/Ipsos poll showed the Coalition leading Labor by 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.

Tweed Labor candidate Ron Goodman spent the day at Centaur Public School.

"I'm not feeling nervous at all. We've done everything we can to get out our message out about our policies," Mr Goodman said.

"It really warms the heart  to hear people say they voted for us. The amount of support has been very incredible and we're really hopeful."

Booths close at 6pm when the counting will start.

More updates to come.

 



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