Former independent federal MP Tony Windsor is poised to challenge Barnaby Joyce for New England.
After he stepped aside before the 2013 elections due to a health issue that he reportedly needed to address, Windsor is now considering giving politics another chance. He told Fairfax Media he had a “better than 50 per cent” chance of declaring himself a candidate for the New England seat, which is now held by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The former independent federal MP is being “encouraged” to run not only by wife Lyn, but also by political associates, who confirmed it is “increasingly likely” Windsor will try to unseat Joyce. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it,” he told the media company.
Windsor recently attacked Joyce and warned that the politics in him “hasn’t gone away,” but the Agriculture Minister downplayed the former independent federal MP’s threat to his seat.
Leader and founder of 21st Century Australia Party Jamie McIntyre ran against Barnaby Joyce in the 2013 Federal Election. At the time, Tony Windsor claimed McIntyre was working in concert with Joyce to ensure he couldn’t win.
In a recent interview, McIntyre said he wouldn’t be running for the seat of New England again personally, as his focus for 21st Century Australia Party is to win Senate seats. However, he said his party would most likely run a candidate for New England, especially if Tony Windsor intends on running to ensure he is not elected.
“Barnaby Joyce has done a good job. He is a good agriculture minister and good for the agriculture industry, which is key for the country now considering the mining boom is over”, said McIntyre.
McIntyre has invested heavily into the agriculture industry in New England and is finalising an agriculture fund to expand his agriculture interests.
He is a big believer in the future of Australian agriculture, as it’s a sustainable industry. With the growth of Chinese middle class, it has huge potential, said McIntyre.
“The bottom line is, Tony Windsor being elected would only assist in a Bill Shorten government being elected. That would be an economic disaster, as it would allow dodgy unions to run the show again, akin to the Gillard government.
“We all know who is responsible for Gillard being elected, i.e. a certain person who decided to give us a Labor government, even though 92% of the New England electorate voted against the political party.
“People would need a short memory to elect Tony Windsor again and I am happy to put money into the electorate to ensure that Tony Windsor, who I feel betrayed our country by supporting a grossly incompetent Gillard government is not elected”, said McIntyre.