Nationals fighting to retain Orange seat but remain favourites

NEW South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant could be in for a massive shock at the upcoming Orange by-election as the Coalition’s price to retain the seat continues to drift with online bookmakers.

The Orange seat has been safely held by the Nationals Party for 65 years, however many experts are now predicting a massive swing, which could potentially see them lose the seat.

The swing is expected as public outrage continues to mount over the closure of the greyhound racing industry as well as a range of other issues such as the Government’s handling of the chemotherapy under-dosing scandal.

Subsequently, online bookmaker Sportsbet has eased the price of the Nationals out to $1.35 favourites, with recent polling of the area suggesting the battle for Orange may be a close one.

The bookies believe an independent getting over the line is the most likely alternative, while Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is considered a realistic threat, firming into $7, with the party expected to announce a candidate over the next few weeks.

Phillip Donato, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate has drifted out to $11, while Labor has firmed slightly into $15, but is still considered outsiders.

A poll of 725 Orange voters was taken on Monday night, with the National Party’s primary vote sitting at just 34.6 per cent once undecided voters were pressed. Labor was next at 27.5 per cent, followed by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party at 15.5 per cent and Independent Scott Munro at 11.5 per cent.

Estimates have the Nationals ahead 52-48 if the Shooters vote was to split 50-50.

“The polling might say it’s pretty close but the odds still indicate a Nationals’ win but we aren’t as confident as we once were so have eased them slightly,” said Will Bryne of Sportsbet.

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If the Nationals were to lose the seat, after having won it 71-29 at last year’s state election, with a primary vote of 65 per cent, it would cast serious doubt over the future of NSW Nationals Leader Troy Grant who is already facing backlash over the greyhound ban.

Scott Munro spoke to Australian Racing Greyhound last month and said if he won the seat, a reversal of the greyhound racing ban would be virtually guaranteed.

“If I am elected as the Member of this area through the support of people who are passionate about the dogs and anti-amalgamation, it will send a powerful message to the Government,” Munro said.

“It’s not going to change Government, this seat, because it is only a by-election, but it will change people’s opinions.

“If the Nationals were to lose this seat after 65 years, I can guarantee that there would be a lot of discussion and more than likely a vote of no confidence in the Deputy Premier.

“If it gets to November 12 and I win I am telling you positively [the Nationals] will change their minds [on the greyhound ban].

“They would call for a change of policy on the dogs and try to win back the people before the next election.

“The industry would be saved.”

Orange by-election market

$1.35 Nationals (out from $1.24)
$3.00 Any Independent (in from $11)
$7.00 One Nation (in from $21)
$11 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (out from $3.00)
$15 Labor (in from $21)
$41 Greens (out from $34)
$51 Christian Democratic Party (out from $34)

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