In vital Upper Hunter byelection, Nationals remain ‘comfortable’ – and big fans of coal

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Despite a dozen challengers and a razor-thin margin in the polls, NSW Nationals confident they can hang on to a traditional stronghold

Nationals’ leader John Barilaro believes his party will retain the crucial Upper Hunter electorate, as his party’s candidate spent the final day of the campaign telling voters the “most important topic” in Saturday’s byelection was maintaining coalmining in the region.

Despite the dozen challengers vying to win the seat from the party for the first time since the second world war launching a slew of attacks against the Nationals in the final days of the campaign, Barilaro remained confident the party would hold onto the seat.

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