Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has claimed victory with what looks like an increased margin, as the counting of votes continues.
The state MP, who first won the seat at a byelection in 2013, had picked up almost 75 per cent of the vote.
Since that first win in 2013, the popular local MP has increased his vote at each election.
He first stood after former MP Richard Torbay resigned under a cloud in March 2013.
The election in May that year saw the former Gunnedah mayor, who had moved to Armidale the year before to commence studying at UNE, elected with 63 per cent of the vote.
It was the first time the Nationals had won the seat since the mid 1990s.
Since then, Mr Marshall was re-elected four years ago with 67 per cent of the vote, and again on Saturday with what looks to be an even greater margin.
This time he was up against Labor's Debra O'Brien, who was running in her second campaign for the seat, Rayne Single from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, as well as Greens candidate Dorothy Robinson.
The coalition government won a third term at the election. For the last two years Mr Marshall has been a minister in the Berejiklian government, serving as the Minister for Tourism and Major Events as well as the Assistant Minister for Skills.
LIVE UPDATES: Follow our live coverage of the counting of votes throughout the New England and North West here:
SATURDAY: Residents of the Northern Tablelands electorate have joined millions of others across the state in heading to the polls today for the NSW election.
From the plains of Mungindi and Boomi in the north west, through Moree, Inverell, Glen Innes and down to Guyra and Armidale in the tablelands of the south east, polling booths opened at 8am this morning.
- Would the candidates support de-merger of Guyra and Armidale councils? (The Guyra Argus, March 11)
- Candidates weigh in on land clearing issue(Moree Champion, March 20)
- Labor candidate labels Myall Creek funding an effrontery(The Inverell Times, March 18)
Over recent months the candidates have been visiting communities throughout the electorate. They came together for one public forum in Armidale Town Hall on Friday, March 8, when the faced questions from voters.
READ MORE: Candidates face the voters at Armidale Town Hall (The Armidale Express, March 11)
In order to best inform the electorate's voters and this masthead's readers, we have asked all four candidates why they deserved your vote.
ADAM MARSHALL, Nationals
"It has been a privilege to represent you and the entire Northern Tablelands electorate in the State Parliament over the past four years," Adam Marshall said.
"I have worked hard every day of the week with individuals, communities, local councils and action groups on the issues that matter to local families across the region, especially health, roads, education and water security.
"Together we have achieved a great deal - securing more than $800 million of investment in hundreds of large and small projects across our communities - but there is still much more to do."
Mr Marshall said with our region growing and evolving, while at the same time dealing with the impacts of a crippling drought, a local member who can keep our region on the agenda was need.
"Someone who can continue to deliver what our communities need," he said.
"I am determined to ensure that our hard-won gains over the last four years are just the beginning."
- Marshall promises $20m upgrade for Glen Innes Hospital (Glen Innes Examiner)
- MP welcomes funding as Friends of Myall Creek secure $1 million grant(The Inverell Times)
- Nationals draw top spot on the ballot paper (The Armidale Express)
- Northern Tablelands MP rejoices at Yetman polling booth reinstalled(The Inverell Times)
DEBRA O'BRIEN, Labor
"It's true all the candidates have the best interest of the community at heart," Debra O'Brien said.
"Northern Tablelands is seen as a safe Nationals seat. Anyone else who runs here has to do it because of what they believe and not because they think they will get a great job out of it. They do it because they want to bring attention and offer an alternative for a lot of issues that are important for the community.
"That's what we have been doing, well, for years really, but particularly for the last six months. I think when you have a safe seat, it's not good for the community. You have to have a group of other people holding the local member to account."
Ms O'Brien said she thought the Nationals did not represent the community on the number one issue of climate change at all.
"The local member says he's big on renewables, but most of his party doesn't even believe in climate change and for many people," she said.
- Labor commits to fund emergency shelter in Moree (Moree Champion)
- Half a million promised for Guyra street upgrade (The Guyra Argus)
- Labor promise a new hospital for Glen Innes(Glen Innes Examiner)
- Labor's big red bus launches Northern Tablelands campaign (The Armidale Express)
DOROTHY ROBINSON, The Greens
"Voting Green sends a powerful message that we need to address the devastating current and future effects of drought and climate change, which the Climate Council and the 2019 Australian National University report tell us are linked," Dorothy Robinson said.
"We need the same standard of health as metropolitan areas, including programs to keep us healthy and reduce the three year life expectancy gap between New England North West and Sydney.
"We need the educational resources to create a skilled, educated workforce for future economic prosperity. We need to reverse the cost-shifting that's squeezing local councils dry."
Dr Robinson said protecting forests and planting trees as carbon stores preserved koala and wildlife habitats.
"A New England Renewable Hub will reduce emissions, provide cheaper and more reliable power than our ageing coal-fired plants, avoid blackouts and bring jobs, growth and economic benefits to our region," she said.
"The Energy Market experts tell us renewables are cheaper and more reliable than coal. If we don't heed their advice and act now, the effect on young people will be devastating. Governments should put people before profits and listen to expert advice."
- Greens MP David Shoebridge launches Dorothy Robinson's campaign(The Armidale Express)
- Ambitious plan to turn Northern Tablelands into NSW's battery (The Armidale Express)
RAYNE SINGLE, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party
"A lot of the time, when you ask a politician why you should vote for them they say 'Well, we pledge money for this and we pledge money for that, we've got this policy and that policy," Rayne Single said.
"But when push comes to shove, you want someone who'll stand up and is happy to wear the creases and make sure they put their electorate first and in front of the party they're trying to put into government.
"Where I sit, I will never get into government, I'll never have a minister's position. I think that's what you need in a representative, someone who isn't worried about pleasing those in the city and in Parliament House in Macquarie Street."
Mr Single said the elected member should be someone who can have a chat and listen to your concerns.
"Our bias is with the bush, because the city has been getting a big wrap for a long, long, long time because that's where the majors have all their seats. It would be nice, but I think us ever forming government is long way off," he said.
- Rayne Single named candidate for Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party(The Armidale Express)
- Single hits back at so called 'community campaign' for hospital (Moree Champion)
EARLY VOTING:More then one-third of voters predicted to vote before election day(The Inverell Times, March 16)
Where to vote:
Voting centres will be open from 8am until 6pm on Saturday. There are 45 polling places across Northern Tablelands:
- Arding Uniting Church Hall
- Armidale City Public School
- Armidale Town Hall
- Ben Venue Public School
- Drummond Memorial Public School
- Newling Public School
- The Wright Centre - University of New England
- Ashford Central School- Memorial Hall
- Ashley Community Hall
- Ben Lomond Public School
- Roxy Theatre Bingara
- Black Mountain Public School
- Boggabilla Central School
- Toomelah Public School
- Boomi Public School
- Bundarra Central School
- Dangarsleigh School of Arts Hall
- Deepwater School of Arts Hall
- Delungra Community Hall
- Ebor Public School
- Emmaville Central School
- Gilgai Public Hall
- Cameron Memorial Hall
- Glen Innes Public School
- Glencoe Community Hall
- Gravesend Public Hall
- Guyra Central School
- Inverell Public School
- Inverell Town Hall
- Ross Hill Public School
- Kentucky Memorial Hall
- Kingstown Community Hall
- Moree Memorial Hall
- Moree Police Citizens Youth Club
- Moree Secondary College, Albert Street Campus
- Mungindi Memorial Hall
- North Star Public School
- Pallamallawa Public School
- Red Range Public School
- Rocky River Public School
- Tingha Public School
- Upper Horton Hall
- Uralla Central School
- Warialda Town Hall
- Yetman Memorial Hall