The Wagga Wagga by-election has reached its conclusion.
In the by-election on 14 December 1957, on the death of Eddie Graham (Labor), Wal Fife (Liberal) won the seat of Wagga Wagga.
The seat was held by the Liberals till 2018. At the 28 March 2015 election, the seat was won by Daryl Maguire with 53.8% first preferences and beating Dan Hayes (Labor) by 62.9% to 37.1% on preferences.
In July 2018, Maguire was drawn into an inquiry by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption regarding possible corruption involving the former Canterbury Council, through his association with former councillor Michael Hawatt. It was alleged that Maguire had acted on behalf of a “mega big” Chinese client, asking for help in buying into development-approved projects, in return for a commission from the developer for both himself and Hawatt. As a consequence, Maguire resigned from the Liberal Party, and from his roles as Parliamentary Secretary for the Centenary of ANZAC, Counter Terrorism, Corrections and Veterans. After initially refusing to resign from Parliament, he announced he would do so before its next sitting. Maguire tendered his resignation to the Speaker of the Legislative of Assembly on the afternoon of 3 August 2018.
Writs were issued on 17 August for a by-election on 8 September.
At the close of nominations, the candidates, in ballot paper order, were
- Seb McDonagh (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
- Julia Ham (Liberal)
- Joe McGirr (Independent)
- Ray Goodlass (Greens)
- Tom Arentz (Christian Democratic Party)
- Paul Funnell (Independent)
- Dan Hayes (Labor)
The voting system was optional preferential, which is why the total votes decreased as preferences were distributed or exhausted.
Erratum: 844 should be 13443 and 3650 should be 42574
Interesting that Ham held her lead until preferences for Funnell and Hayes were distributed. In the end, McGirr won with a whopping 59.6% to Ham’s 40.4%.
The Liberals’ first preferences dropped from 53.8% to 25.5%; two-party preferred from 62.9% to 40.4%.