TONY Windsor admits to missing the cut and thrust of a federal election campaign – at times – but knows the time was right to bow out.
The retiring independent member for New England chuckled yesterday when asked if he missed it.
“I would have loved this one,” he says, alluding to the contest he would have had with The Nationals’ candidate Barnaby Joyce.
“I would have enjoyed it but I didn’t want to be there for another three years.
“And say I’d run and won, everyone would have known it was for the last time and when voters know that they start looking at you differently.”
Mr Windsor said he wasn’t privy to any electorate polling, but thought independent candidate Rob Taber, who Mr Windsor has campaigned with at various times, was “in with a bit of a show” while conceding Mr Joyce was still the favourite.
“I think it could be close; there’s a funny feeling out there. The assumption is Barnaby will win but that doesn’t necessarily work in this electorate anymore.”
He did say though Mr Joyce would have to secure at least 50 per cent of the primary, or very close to that, to win.
Mr Windsor thought the national campaign had been “very ordinary” and “very presidential”.
“I think Abbott will win it ... but neither Rudd or Abbott have shown the electorate who they really are,” he said.
The real danger was in the Senate, Mr Windsor said, where he’s concerned his “water trigger” legislation could come under threat from opponents.
He’s also looking forward to watching the election results unfold tonight, “knowing all the players” and their personalities and knowing some high-profile MPs – among them Kevin Rudd – could be in danger of losing their seats.
The seat of Indi in Victoria will also be of interest, Mr Windsor having assisted the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, in her campaign against sitting member Liberal Sophie Mirabella.