It's been a long five weeks, but the New England by-election is done and dusted - so can we just get on with the job now?

Cheers: Barnaby Joyce celebrates his by-election victory in Tamworth on Saturday night. Photo: Gareth Gardner.
Cheers: Barnaby Joyce celebrates his by-election victory in Tamworth on Saturday night. Photo: Gareth Gardner.

Turns out this New England by-election was historic for more than just the sheer number of candidates that stood for election. 

Seventeen hopefuls – including the former, or is that current member – the biggest field in the electorate’s 116 year history. 

The very fact that Joyce contested the seat was also unusual. And the section of the Constitution dealing with dual citizenship probably still hasn’t finished with us yet!

Turns out too that New England is a pretty forgiving electorate – given that we didn’t need to be where we ended up - not only enabling Barnaby Joyce to retain his seat, but with an increased majority and a massive swing of about 11 per cent in his favour.

The Prime Minister saw the light. Keen to be a part of the celebrations Malcolm Turnbull flew into Tamworth on Saturday night to stand alongside his Deputy-to-be (again) - describing the win as a “stunning” victory for the Coalition. 

“We’re getting the band back together” he declared.

Mr Joyce said he was “humbled” by the support shown to him by voters on the weekend – and no doubt relieved it’s all over.

His very low profile campaign having paid dividends.

He told those gathered at his victory celebration that he was looking forward to getting back to business. 

The day itself was not without dramas of course.

CountryMinded’s Pete Mailler found himself in the middle of a near-punch up involving a Joyce supporter. 

In Armidale, vandals attacked a polling station, leaving their mark and their message.

You’d have to think there are better ways than defacing the Town Hall, but clearly these people have no filter.

Former Independent Tony Windsor - who played a much bigger role at the last election as a candidate – was seen handing out how to vote cards for both CountryMinded's Pete Mailler and Independent Rob Taber.

Reports of a bullet delivered to Quirindi school ahead of polling day turned out to be a furphy. 

No doubt there’ll be some pretty intense debriefings to come.

Regardless – this by-election is done and dusted – so let’s just get on with it. 

Oh wait, there’s Bennelong to come. Malcolm Turnbull must be soooo looking forward to Christmas. And please Mr Turnbull – no early election.