Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz is back for a fifth term after a clear win at the polls, but his party is regrouping after a national loss.
It will be the first time in nearly a decade Buchholz has served in opposition after Labor seized power from the Coalition in the 2022 election.
At time of print, Labor looked set to secure the 76 seats it needed to form a majority government.
Buchholz had mixed emotions when he spoke with the Bulletin about the election results.
As he helped pack up from the local campaign while vacating his assistant ministerial office in Canberra, he praised his supporters and spoke about the harsh nature of politics.
“It’s enormously humbling to have a community who believes in what you’re doing,” he said.
“It’s a very raw profession, politics. Could you imagine a schoolteacher, nurse or anyone where every three years they had to ask their stakeholders, school students, parents, fellow teachers to write on a box as to whether or not they should have a job? It is brutal and if you don’t perform, you’re out. To be returned five times is humbling and we work very hard at it.”
He said now was the time to take stock.
“One of the great things about opposition is it teaches you discipline and gives you time to reflect on your core views as a party and as a person,” he said.
“As a party we’ve got some reflecting to do. We lost a number of seats, and we’ll undertake our reviews across the country and try to work out what went wrong.”
At time of print, the Australian Electoral Commission tally room showed Buchholz had 61.21 per cent of the vote for Wright (two candidate preferred).
This was a 3.37 per cent swing to Labor in Wright, basically on par with the national average swing to Labor of 3.24 per cent (two party preferred).
In the first preference count, Buchholz had 43.98 percent of the votes. This was followed by Labor’s Pam McCreadie with 21.48 per cent, One Nation’s Keith Hicks with 14.01 per cent, the Greens’ Nicole Thompson with 10.85 per cent, United Australia Party’s Cassandra Duffill with 8.18 percent and Australian Federation Party’s Shonna-Lee Banasiak with 1.51 per cent.