Quinn tired but happy

DAVID Quinn said he started practising for his political career when he was 15 – door knocking for the Red Cross.

The Labor Party candidate for Coffs Harbour was relaxing yesterday, saying he was “tired but happy” and said he would do it all again next time “if I get the nod.”

“I did really well for a first time candidate to hold off the swing,” said Mr Quinn.

“I am really pleased we got second and held off the Greens.”

By yesterday afternoon he had polled 22.9% of the vote, giving him 9.5% on a two-party preferred basis.

Mr Quinn, who door-knocked, attended public meetings and candidate’s forums as well as setting up a mobile office in the CBD, said it had been a dull election.

“I found a very despondent electorate,’ he said.

“People had already made up their minds before I started campaigning.”

He said a number of candidates forums were not well-attended, with the best-attended meetings being the Chamber of Commerce meet the candidates breakfast, the NSW farmers rural forum and the doctors’ Pacific Highway forum.

So why would he go again?

“I do think Labor has the best policies that serve the people,” Mr Quinn said.

“A government needs a good opposition to keep them in check.”

Coffs Harbour City councillor Rodney Degens, who ran for the seat of Coffs Harbour as the Greens candidate, said the 3% increase in the Greens vote, from 7.4% last election to more than 10% this election was ‘pretty good’.

“I was extremely miserable on election day, but I suppose my expectations were a little too high,” Cr Degens said.

“It would be nice to be No 2.”

He said the Greens’ most successful local campaigns strategy had been posting their state flyer, including information on Cr Degens, directly to voters via Australia Post.

Cr Degens said the campaign had made him a much stronger public speaker and he would be prepared to run again.

Cr Paul Templeton, who ran as an independent, received 5.9% of the vote and said that was about what he had expected as a first-time, late-nominating candidate.

He said he would do it all again.

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