INDEPENDENT Cathy McGowan has won a sweeping victory in the 2016 federal election – a swing of more than four per cent to her “Team Orange” and winning more than 60 per cent of booths providing a ringing endorsement to a second term.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is wrestling to maintain a majority Liberal-Nationals’ coalition government in Canberra, telephoned Ms McGowan to congratulate her on the Indi campaign’s success on Sunday morning.
By mid-afternoon she had also received a call from Sophie Mirabella in which the one-time Liberal frontbencher – beaten in 2013 by just 439 votes – conceded defeat.
Ms McGowan’s trademark ‘Team Orange’ campaign built and sustained momentum throughout a year-long battle with her feisty opponent into a swing which the Australian Electoral Commission calculated at 4.47 per cent in her favour – on a two candidate-preferred basis – at the close of counting on Saturday evening.
It marked a shift in which the two-candidate-preferred outcome across almost 80 polling stations in the North East and Alpine electorate was reversed, delivering 64 per cent of booths to Ms McGowan compared with 61 per cent which favoured Mrs Mirabella in 2013.