‘Things are looking good’: Birrell not claiming win yet, praises Priestly, Brooks as good candidates

author avatar
Vote is in: Sam Birrell placing his vote on Saturday morning at St Brendan’s Primary School. Photo by Caitlyn Grant

He hasn’t claimed victory but Nationals candidate Sam Birrell has said the polls are looking good in his quest to become the next member for Nicholls despite some anxiety early in the night.

Mr Birrell, speaking on 98.5 One FM, said “I don’t want to claim anything yet but apparently things are looking good”.

As of 11pm Mr Birrell has 26.9 per cent of the vote, ahead of Rob Priestly on 25.7 per cent and Steve Brooks on 17.9 per cent.

He heaped praise on fellow candidates for the way they ran their campaigns, revealing the three caught up for a beer once polling closed at 6pm.

“I like Rob so much and since I’ve met Steve, what a great candidate and what a great person and there was no animosity, it was just a lovely moment between three people and it won’t be the last.

“If you think about the normal anxiety that people go through in a political campaign, and just throw that sort of those personal relationships into it, that's what made it hardest for me.”

Mr Birrell said his conviction that running with the Nationals was the best way to support the region was stronger than ever.

He said it had been a hard campaign for him with so much on the line, with a sombre mood at his campaign event earlier in the evening.

“I resigned my job last year and put everything on the line for this but you become very anxious and I have been anxious tonight. It has picked up as it looks more likely I am going to win the seat,” he said.

He wouldn’t be drawn on what it might mean to be in Canberra as a junior Nationals memeber with Labor in power, saying “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”.