Jamie McIntyre is confident that his 21st Century Australia Party (21CA) will be in the mix for the seat of New England now that it has become a two horse race.
While he says he is not surprised that Tony Windsor will not run at election time, he also admits that the shock resignation will add to the already growing support his party is receiving, and says it will be a close race between himself and the National’s Barnaby Joyce for the seat.
In the wake of the tumultuous week of politics which saw a new Prime Minister sworn in, several frontbenchers go, and two powerful independents resign Mr McIntyre said he believes an apology is in order from Mr Windsor, Mr Oakeshott, Mr Swan, and especially Ms Gillard to the nation and the New England.
“Once Mr Windsor realised he was going to lose in a landslide, he backed out as we anticipated he would. The polls that showed him at 49% weren’t rue polls and were very suspicious. We have commissioned our own polls which showed that Mr Windsor was only sitting at about 15-17% of primary votes, with myself and Mr Joyce much closer,” Mr McIntyre said.
The shake- up in Canberra is not going to change the way 21CA views the Labor leadership, and they don’t believe it is going to full many voters.
“Rudd is a much better campaigner when he puts that face on, although many of the poor policies and decisions were his to start with. Rudd and his party are still responsible for the changes and bad policies,” Mr McIntyre said.
The 21CA leader said that many people including Barnaby, and especially Newscorp who he refers to as “arrogant media” have already concluded that the Nationals will win the New England and are already speaking as such.
“In a poll we conducted 62% of people are now undecided after Winsor dropped out. The Nationals were getting a lot of votes solely for the reason of ousting Windsor, but now that has happened support has dropped for Barnaby and we are expecting to get a proportion of those swinging votes who now have a different choice,” Mr McIntyre said.
The 21CA party held its first red carpet event in Mr McIntyre’s home town of Glen Innes on Friday night with a good crowd attending.
The event was an official New England launch with an informal Q&A session, as well as moderated questions and policy overview.
“I plan on making politics more interesting and engaging for the voters, the Nationals have had long enough to deliver and haven’t, it is time to break the habit and vote for something different,” Mr McIntyre said.
The 21CA are taking their red carpet launch around the region with events set to be held in Tamworth, Armidale, and Inverell in the next few weeks.