Elliot scores convincing Richmond win
By KATE McINTOSH
THERE were scenes of jubilation at the headquarters of Richmond MP Justine Elliot on Saturday night as Labor recorded a landslide victory at the polls.
Ms Elliot, who retained her seat, put on beer and pizza at low-key celebrations at her South Tweed campaign office as polls started emerging in her favour. Labor supporters had spent much of the evening quietly dissecting the televised election coverage.
However, the subdued celebrations soon turned rowdy as news of Labor's decisive win filtered through the crowd.
Supporters erupted in spontaneous applause and cheers when Labor officially declared victory about 8.30pm, with Ms Elliot mobbed by family, friends and party faithful.
Some punched the air, while others were overcome with emotion.
Ms Elliot's mother, Polly Jordan, said she was overjoyed. "I just about burst into tears," Ms Jordan said.
"She works so hard and I'm so happy for her. Justine touches people and she really cares about people, that always comes through," she said.
An elated Justine Elliot yesterday vowed to continue to be a strong voice for the people of the Far North Coast in Canberra.
She said she was honoured to be re-elected and to be representing Kevin Rudd in Richmond.
With 62,913 formal votes, Ms Elliott received 27,651 primary votes to claim a swing of 8.29 per cent; and the former policewoman was further helped by Greens preferences.
Her National Party opponent, Dr Sue Page, claimed 22,744, while The Greens' Giovanni Ebono scored 9967 primary votes.
Ms Elliot said the result marked the end of a consuming and nail-biting election race.
"The people of the North Coast have rejected John Howard's unfair industrial relations laws," she said.
"This is a win for Australia and the people of Richmond," she said.