Keen Green all smiles after poll

AN increase in the primary vote for the Greens in Cowper had Greens candidate John Carty smiling after Saturday's Federal election.

The Greens polled well with 11.2 per cent of the primary vote, a swing of 2.4 per cent and up from 9.3 per cent in 2004.

Even without a final result Mr Carty said the weeks of campaigning had been worth it.

"We've helped achieve a change of government, which is very pleasing to see," Mr Carty said.

"I nailed my colours to the ALP mast early in the campaign because that's what was needed."

He said he had been aware of increased interest in the Greens and what they stood for, even in Kempsey, which was added to Cowper in the recent redistributions.

"It felt like we were really pioneering in new territory there.

"We were at the weekly markets and we performed 'John Howard on Trial' people were very welcoming."

In his heartland of Bellingen Shire, Mr Carty topped booths in Bellingen, Thora and Gleniffer.

"That's amazing I send a big thankyou to Bellingen."

Mr Carty said he was not bothered that some 15 per cent of his primary vote preferences flowed to the Nationals.

"That means those people voted for me as a person I take that as a compliment."

He said he had enjoyed the campaign, thanks to the energy and organisation of his team and was thrilled to see Cowper become a marginal seat.

"It's going to come down to the wire and keep Cowper in the national media all week.

"It's a whole new world now one that's hopefully heading in the right direction."

Yesterday the Greens first preference vote in Cowper was among the top 20 in Australia at 11.16 per cent.

The highest was in Melbourne at 22.58 per cent.

Christian democrat, Deborah Lions, was pleased with her poll results.

"I polled close to three per cent of the vote and had a 25 per cent increase on my State election results," Ms Lions said.

"It shows my profile is getting better I plan to stick around and be a force to be reckoned with.

"I'm not happy that Cowper is in this cliff-hanger situation but I'll be keeping whoever wins honest.

"We ran a clean honest campaign, which gave people a fresh alternative to the two major parties."

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