COWPER'S CURRENT VOTE TALLY
|CANDIDATE (Ballot Order)||PARTY||VOTES||%|
|Rod Jeanneret||Palmer United||4990||6.57|
Predicted result: Seat retained by Luke Hartsuyker (Nationals)
Voter turnout: 82.74%
STATE OF THE NATION
|PARTY (in alphabetical order)||SEATS WON***|
|Katter's Australia Party||1|
*** 76 seats needed to form government.
10.35PM: Another Federal election has been run and won and tonight it's been a resounding victory for the Coalition both in Cowper as well as nationally.
There's still a bit more than a quarter of the votes in Cowper to be tallied up but the majority of those will come from Coffs Harbour's pre-poll voting centre where an incredible number of almost 9,000 people voted.
The Advocate will be signing off now.
Having covered the Council elections 12 months ago and now the Federal election, another night of constant updates isn't due until Saturday 28 March 2015 when the NSW State election is due.
10.30PM: WITH the celebrations in his office winding up, Luke Hartsuyker was full of praise for Australia's new Prime Minister.
"I know he (Mr Abbott) will make a great Prime Minister," he said.
"A lot of people underestimate Tony, they don't understand the potential he has. The ALP certainly underestimated him but I never did."
On a two-party preferred basis across the nation, the Coalition finished with a 53:47 lead.
This translated into the Coalition gaining 17 seats with another two seats still considered too close to call.
Prior to the election Mr Hartsuyker said he was confident his side would be elected to form a government but admitted politicians sometimes suffered from living a life that sometimes leaves them in a bubble.
"The feeling was always good but as a Member of Parliament, in many ways you're too close to it.
"You speak to a lot of people who share your beliefs and as an MP you often get a biased view during conversations."
Mr Hartsuyker said the Coalition was certainly "looking forward to forming Government" and the swing towards the Liberals and Nationals indicates the people are looking forward to it as well.
"People were looking for change and we're looking forward to trying to provide that for them as well as providing a stable government,"he said.
10.15PM: In claiming victory, Tony Abbott says: "I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed.
9.30PM: Palmer United Party candidate Rod Jeanneret he "would've liked more" votes than what he had but he's able to see the silver lining in attracting more than 6% of the vote.
"There's over 4,000 votes with about 68% of the votes counted and that's more than 4,000 people that I didn't know before," Mr Jeanneret said.
"They can't all be my friends."
His main thoughts on the day when it came to voters was "when are they ever going to wake up?"
"If you told me before the election here's another $2,500 to $3,000 in your pocket, I'd have said 'that'll do me'."
Did you buy any food or drink at a polling booth on election day?
This poll ended on 08 September 2013.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
8.50PM: Having garnered about 25-26% of the primary vote in Cowper, Country Labor candidate Alfredo Navarro admits that he hoped for better.
"I had hoped that I would win but what I wanted was to cut the margin Luke (Hartsuyker) held in the seat by about half," he said.
One of the issues Mr Navarro believed went against him today was invalid/informal votes.
In the 2010 election, the percentage of these votes in Cowper was 4.6%. That number has jumped to a current level of 5.67%.
Mr Navarro's scrutineers have reported to him that a lot of votes for the Greens have been declared invalid as they only have a '1' on them rather than having a number alongside each candidate.
This issue could stem from the fact that the Greens How To Vote cards asked to place a '1' nextr to Carol vernon but then asked them to make up their own mind on preferences.
8.35PM: The votes from the pre-polling voting centres in Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads are still to be tallied but at this stage it appears Luke Hartsuyker will enjoy a swing of more than 2%.
While there has been a swing toward the Coalition nationally at the past two federal elections, very few sitting members enjoy a swing towards them in successive polls.
8.25PM: Labor candidate Alfredo Navarro is speaking to his supporters gathered at C.ex Coffs where he's thanking them for their help while he concedes defeat.
8.05PM: There's plenty of noise in the offices of Luke Hartsuyker as supporters of the Nationals MP celebrate not only a win in Cowper but nationally as well.
"It's great to again retain the seat and we're delighted that we've once again been given the confidence of the people of Cowper and be given the opportunity to represent them for the next three years," Mr Hartsuyker said.
Elected to represent Cowper for a fifth time, Mr Hartsuyker said he believed the people were keen for a change in political direction when he saw how many people had voted at pre-poll voting centres as well as made their way toward polling booths nice and early today.
"That's usually a sign that they want a change," he said.
Did you vote before today in one of the pre-polling voting centres?
This poll ended on 08 September 2013.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
8.00PM: Interesting statement by Labor front bencher Tanya Plibersek: "I'd give us 9 out of 10 for governing the country, I'd give us 0 out of 10 for governing ourselves".
7.50PM: Speaking of swings, it's not often a sitting member gains a swing towards themselves two elections in a row but it appears Luke Hartsuyker has done that.
Proof of how many people voted before today, results have come in from 50 of the 78 booths across Cowper but only 31.7% of the votes have been counted.
7.40PM: The pre-poll votes from Kempsey are in and Luke Hartsuyker still holds a comfortable lead.
The Greens have so far received about 12% of the vote. An increase on the 9.09% the Party received back in 2010.
Candidate Carol Vernon said the increased vote is a positive and is a pat on the back for the hard work that she and her team put in.
"We just had to give it a go, the future's looking pretty grim," Mrs Vernon said.
"This is the only the beginning. No matter what happens tonight, the fight is ahead.
"There's Coal Seam Gas, mining, our kid's futures, all sorts of things."
7.30PM: The trouble with all the votes coming in is it means reports are being rung through from various booths to the candidates keen to get up to date information.
This means phone lines are busy and it's hard for a journalist to get through.
7.18PM: Kerry O'Brien has just said on the ABC News24 coverage: "There's clearly a change of government, it's just by how much."
7.10PM: A fraction more than 5% of the votes have been counted in Cowper and Luke Hartsuyker is receiving a vote on about half of the ballots that have come in.
7.00PM: For Christian Democratic Party candidate Bethany McAlpine, handing out How To Vote cards was an enjoyable experience.
"I usually like handing them out so it was enjoyable," the 18 year-old said.
Despite her youth, Miss McAlpine said she received plenty of positive feedback from voters at the Moonee booth where she spent most of her day.
"Most people thought I was having a go," Miss McAlpine said.
"There was one person who told me I was too young and he wasn't voting for me but most said it was good that I was having a go."
6.50PM: It's far too early to call at this stage but with 10 booths in, Luke Hartsuyker is predicted to claim the seat of Cowper with a two-party preferred result of 61.35% to Country Labor's count of 38.65%
This represents a swing towards the sitting member.
6.45PM: The small booths of Glenniffer and Hat Head have had their votes counted.
6.40PM: Labor candidate Alfredo Navarro is confident of securing a swing away from the incumbent MP Luke Hartsuyker.
Mr Navarro said he's just received his first report from a Kempsey booth and after 300 votes he's been told it's pretty much 50:50 between Labor and the Nationals.
He said he'd also been told that despite the Greens not 'giving' their preferences to anyone, he's received most of them in early counting.
Mr Navarro spent most of his time at St Augustines today where the temperature reached 24.3 at 3.30pm.
"It was a brilliant day, I can't tell you how many people were grabbing our How To Vote cards,"Mr Navarro said.
"The number of people who recognised my face and gave me a little thumbs up as they were leaving was amazing."
6.27PM: The votes are in from Ulong.
6.25PM: The results from the first booth are in and it's 100 votes from Bostobrick.
6.20PM: Greens candidate Carol Vernon started her morning in Woolgoolga and stayed there longer than she intended.
"It was absolutely smashed there, I think because there wasn't any pre-polling in Woolgoolga," Mrs Vernon.
"There's about 3,000 people there and I think most of them voted early.
"We stayed a little while longer to give a hand to our helpers for a while."
6.10PM: Cowper incumbent Luke Hartsuyker has traversed the full length of the seat today in a bid to win a fifth term as the local MP.
Greg Pearce, the media officer for Mr Hartsuyker's office said the sitting member is currently driving back to Coffs Harbour from Maclean after starting his day visiting polling booths at South West Rocks and Kempsey this morning.
The Nationals MP then travelled through the Nambucca and Bellinger Valley's, then the Coffs Coast before heading to polling booths in the Lower Clarence.
Mr Pearce reported Mr Hartsuyker's team had received plenty of good feedback throughout the day.
"Generally the feeling's been pretty good," Mr Pearce said.
How that good feeling affects tonight's result is hard to tell.
"We did get a significant swing towards us in 2010 which was larger than the national swing," he added.
"We're not sure how having a good swing last time translates to Cowper this time around."
6.05PM: The Australian Electoral Commision's returning office in Kempsey is prepared for a busy few hours ahead.
First results from the smaller booths are expected to come in shortly before 7pm.
Traditionally the larger booths from Coffs Harbour have been at the Coffs Showgrounds, St Augustines, Jetty High and Tyalla Public.
These booths won't be as big in 2013.
Returning officer Brigitte Kwan reported nearly 9,000 voted before today at Coffs Harbour's pre-poll voting centre on Gordon St.
Now she's preparing for a busy few hours as the votes get counted, scrutineered and preferenced.
"This is the interesting part," Brigitte said.
Äll the hard work has led up to this.
6.00PM: Polling booths all the way down the eastern seaboard have just closed. Now the counting of votes begins.
Cowper's five candidates have spent a busy day on the hustings trying to convince any undecided voters to put a '1' next to their name.
Incumbent Luke Hartsuyker (Nationals) is being challenged by Rod Jeanneret (Palmer United Party), Bethany McAlpine (Christian Democratic Party), Alfredo Navarro (Country Labor) and Carol Vernon (Greens).
Mr Hartsuyker is at the almost unbackable odds of $1.01 to hold on to the seat for a fifth term.
For Cowper to have a new MP when the 44th Parliament sits, a large swing of more than 9% on a two-party preferred basis is needed.
5.30PM: Exit polling from Newspoll suggests the result of this election could be known a lot earlier than usual.
The total number of seats needed to govern is 76 but Newspoll suggests the Coalition is going to win a massive majority with 97 seats, a gain of 24 from the 2010 election.
Labor is tipped to lose 21 seats and finish this election with 51 sitting members.
The poll suggests the next goverment will have two independent MPs.
While we wait for the first results to come in from Cowper's smaller booths, it's always worthwhile to take a quick trip down memory lane and look at the results for Cowper from federal elections past.
COWPER - TWO PARTY PREFERRED RESULTS
|2013||Nationals (Hartsuyker)||61.65%||Labor (Navarro)||38.35%|
|2010||Nationals (Hartsuyker)||59.27%||Labor (Sekfy)||40.73%|
|2007||Nationals (Hartsuyker)||51.23%||Labor (Sekfy)||48.77%|
|2004||Nationals (Hartsuyker)||56.45%||Labor (Williams)||43.55%|
|2001||Nationals (Hartsuyker)||54.73%||Labor (Bonfield)||45.27%|
|1998||Nationals (Nehl)||56.36%||Labor (Sekfy)||43.64%|
|1996||Nationals (Nehl)||61.56%||Labor (Sekfy)||38.44%|
|1993||Nationals (Nehl)||54.06%||Labor (Sekfy)||45.94%|
|1990||Nationals (Nehl)||57.3%||Labor (Murphy)||42.7%|
|1987||Nationals (Nehl)||59.1%||Labor (Murphy)||40.9%|
|1984||Nationals (Nehl)||54.1%||Labor (Moran)||45.9%|
|1983||Nationals (Robinson)||52.1%||Labor (Moran)||47.9%|
|1980||National Country (Robinson)||56.5%||Labor (Melville)||43.5%|
|1977||National Country (Robinson)||63.9%||Labor (Clague)||36.1%|
|1975||National Country (Robinson)||64.3%||Labor (Clague)||33.7%|
|1974||Country (Robinson)||56.6%||Labor (Cronin)||43.4%|
|1972||Country (Robinson)||52.5%||Labor (Cronin)||47.5%|
|1969||Country (Robinson)||65.5%||Independent (Royal)||34.5%|
|1966||Country (Robinson)||63.5%||Labor (Gillett)||35.8%|
|1963||Country (Robinson)||53.0%||Labor (McGuren)||47.0%|
|1961||Labor (McGuren)||51.8%||Country (Sir Earle Page)||48.2%|
|1958||Country (Sir Earle Page)||61.1%||Labor (McGuren)||38.9%|
|1955||Country (Sir Earle Page)||Elected unopposed|
|1954||Country (Sir Earle Page)||58.8%||Labor (Bailey)||41.1%|
|1951||Country (Sir Earle Page)||62.0%||Labor (Bailey)||38.0%|
|1949||Country (Sir Earle Page)||61.7%||Labor (Jabour)||38.3%|
|1946||Country (Sir Earle Page)||59.5%||Labor (Mitchell)||40.5%|
|1943||Country (Sir Earle Page)||52.6%||Labor (Howard)||47.4%|
|1940||Country (Sir Earle Page)||64.9%||Labor (Kelly)||33.1%|
|1937||Country (Page)||63.2%||Labor (Brindley)||36.8%|
|1934||Country (Page)||70.4%||Labor (McCristal)||29.6%|
|1931||Country (Page)||72.3%||Labor (Cusack)||24.7%|
|1929||Country (Page)||Elected unopposed|
|1928||Country (Page)||76.8%||Labor (Swiney)||23.2%|
|1925||Country (Page)||70.0%||Labor (Lockhart)||30.0%|
|1922||Country (Page)||67.3%||Nationalist (Thomson)||32.7%|
|1919||Farmers & Settlers (Page)||71.6%||Labor (Pryor)||28.4%|
|1917||Nationalist (Thomson)||Elected unopposed|
|1914||Liberal (Thomson)||Elected unopposed|
|1913||Liberal (Thomson)||72.2%||Labor (Hogan)||27.8%|
|1910||Liberal (Thomson)||67.9%||Labour (Johnson)||32.1%|
|1906||Protectionist (Thomson)||43.1%||Anti-Socialist (Lee)||41.4%|
|1903||Free Trade (Lee)||63.0%||Protectionist (Clarke)||37.0%|
|1901||Protectionist (Clarke)||38.3%||Free Trade (Davidson)||33.6%|