I'll run in 2023 but not at the federal poll, May says

SUPPORT: Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Brenden May with supporter Marj Armstrong in Oberon before the state election.

SUPPORT: Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Brenden May with supporter Marj Armstrong in Oberon before the state election.

FIRST-TIME candidate Brenden May is already looking ahead to the 2023 state election after securing more than 14 per cent of first preference votes in the election for the seat of Bathurst.

Mr May contested the seat for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and said he was  satisfied with his results after just a few months of building a profile in the electorate, which includes Oberon.

"For the people who did vote for me, I still want to be their representative for the next four years," he said.

"A lot can happen in four years, but at this stage I'm keen to run again."


Mr May said he had offered himself as a candidate who was "standing up for people who needed to be stood up for".

He hoped the Shooters would run a candidate against the Nationals' incumbent Andrew Gee in the federal seat of Calare, but said it would not be him.

"I'm not a career politician and with the federal election coming just two months after a state election, I can't do it," he said.

"I need to get back to some normalcy."

Meanwhile, Mr Gee said the state election had been good for incumbents and showed that hard-working local members would be rewarded.

"I had people on the booths at Orange asking people as they came out from the vote what was on their minds and who they were voting for and it was quite clear they were drawing a very clear distinction between the candidate and the party," he said. 

"They were voting for the candidate as a person and not necessarily for the party.

"I think ... people are less rusted on than they used to be."

Mr Gee was not too concerned by the prospect of the SFF fielding a candidate to run against him.

"I think it remains to be seen whether the appeal of the Shooters translates into votes  federally," he said.

"If you look at the seat of Bathurst, it didn't happen. If you look at Cootamundra, it didn't  happen and I think the reason is that the candidates develop personal followings because of  their work in the electorate."


A booth-by-booth analysis of voting across the Bathurst electorate showed the Nationals' re-elected Member for Bathurst Paul Toole won every booth, but his primary vote was slashed in Oberon.

In 2015, Mr Toole picked up 1044 first preference votes out of the 1536 cast at Oberon High (68 per cent), but four years on that number was down to 570 out of 1219 votes cast (47 per cent).

Mr May was the main beneficiary of the backlash against Mr Toole, picking up 364 primary votes (30 per cent) - his best result from the 41 booths across the electorate and double his overall first preference percentage.

The figures suggest the people of Oberon had a point to prove about Mr Toole's time as local government minister, when he was the face of the NSW Coalition's attempt to amalgamate Oberon and Bathurst Regional councils.