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Sykes takes a swing at deal-breaking Libs

Bill Sykes will be spending more time with his Belgian Blues after this weekend. Picture: TARA GOONANFeature:Bill Sykes swore he would not end up ‘like every other politician’ … and he didn’t
Nanjing Night Net

OUTGOING Nationals MP Bill Sykes yesterday said he was disappointed the Liberals had run a candidate in Euroa in today’s election.

The retiring member for the former seat of Benalla — carved into four to form most of the new seat of Euroa — said there was “no ambiguity” in the Coalition deal.

Dr Sykes has campaigned heavily for Steph Ryan, the Nationals’ candidate.

She has a margin of 13per cent but she today faces the Liberals’ Tony Schneider, a Benalla physiotherapist.

The Liberals’ decision to run a candidate in Euroa has caused much tension within the Coalition.

“It’s very disappointing. We have an agreement, there’s no debate about that,” Dr Sykes said. “The Libs have done the wrong thing but we’ll deal with that.”

There have been claims this week Liberal members have undermined the Nationals by altering upper house how-to-vote cards.

Former Liberal premier Ted Baillieu also rocked the boat last week by visiting Benalla to campaign with both candidates.

It is tipped the result will not be clear tonight.

Despite polls pointing to a Coalition loss, Benambra MP Bill Tilley said the Coalition should not be written off.

“When you look at the media and the assessment of policies, well, they openly say the Coalition has the better policies,” he said.

Mr Tilley did some last-minute campaigning at the Wodonga Gold Cup yesterday.

With a margin of about 15per cent he appears to be in no danger.

Challenger Jennifer Podesta said whatever the result, she would continue to promote Labor policies.

“I feel very proud of what me and the team have done,” she said.

Electoral commission workers at Wodonga’s Benambra early-voting centre were busy yesterday with a “constant” stream of voters.

Election manager Alan Cuman said more than 11,000 votes had been polled at 2.30pm — about 25per cent of Benambra’s 41,000 voters. The commission will count votes tomorrow in 56 offices.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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