IF A federal election were held today Nationals candidate Richard Torbay would win in a landslide.
A poll conducted across the federal electorate of New England on tuesday night suggests Richard Torbay would decisively win the New England seat from Tony Windsor on the primary vote alone.
A spokesman for the Nationals party said yesterday ((20.6)) the poll had not been commissioned by the party but by ReachTEL, a Queensland based market research company.
"It was conducted by ReachTEL entirely of their own volition," he said.
When asked who out of Windsor and Torbay would receive the respondent's first preference 60.2 per cent of the 532 participants said Torbay as the Nationals candidate would be their first choice, 24.6 per cent said Windsor as the Independent would be their preference.
When asked who they thought would make the better prime minister 64.2 per cent said Tony Abbott.
The poll also queried participants on the impact of the carbon tax and what their priority issues were in terms of federal funding.
In terms of the carbon tax 61.3 per cent of respondents said they believes they would be worse off when the carbon tax came into affect; 31.9 per cent said they felt they'd be "about the same"and 6.8 per cent said they believed they would be better off.
Participants in the poll rated the economy (29.1 per cent ) as the most important federal issue; closely followed by health (25.1 per cent); education (11.4 per cent); leadership (11.3 per cent); and interest rates (9.2 per cent).
When questioned about the poll the Nationals spokesman went on to say the party would not comment on any other research it may be undertaking.
He did say though the Party was encouraged by the results.
"We are encouraged by the results, however the pre-selection process is yet to be completed," he said.
"We will continue to strongly prosecute the case that New England needs to return to strong Nationals representation in the next government."
ReachTEL said telephone numbers and the person in the household were chosen at random and the results of the poll had been weighted by gender and age.
Mr Torbay told The Leader he was unaware of the company and the fact the polling had taken place.
"The result is encouraging," he said.
"But I never take things for granted."
Mr Torbay said if his pre-selection bid as a Nationals candidate for the federal seat was successful he was prepared for a tough campaign.
"The reaction over the past few days has been for the most part positive," he said.
"Of course not everyone is happy with the decision but I can't do anymore then what I have done and that's be honest and genuine about my intentions."
Mr Torbay said he believed the Ne England seat at the next election would be a tough contest.
"If I am pre-selected as the Nationals candidate I hope the campaign is fought on issues and not personal attacks and misinformation," he said.
"The campaigning should rise above all of that."
The Leader contacted Tony Windsor's office to seek comment on the polling but a response had not been received at the time of press.
Mr Windsor stated last Friday June 15, when Mr Torbay announced his intention to run for pre-selection as a Nationals candidate for the seat of New England that he would not be "making any public comment" and that he was "focused on the opportunities that exist in the current parliament."