Fact sheet

Fact Check: Had no independent ever been re-elected to the Lower House before 2001?

Publisher
Independent politicians Independent politicians
Description
MP Bob Katter, who was originally elected as an independent before starting his own party, Katter's Australian Party, warned the major parties that in the future voters would no longer vote for them. In an online article Mr Katter was quoted as saying: "When I became an independent 12, 15 years ago, no independent had ever got re-elected, ever, so I was walking over an open grave... Now, we get re-elected all the time." In the full transcript of the interview, provided to RMIT ABC Fact Check, Mr Katter said: "That election [2001], Ted Mack and the member from Orange Peter Andren, got re-elected. First time ever." Is that correct? Had an independent never been re-elected to the Lower House before 2001? Fact Check found Mr Katter is wrong. His initial election as an independent in 2001, and re-election in 2004, was preceded by the re-election of two other independent MPs, whom he mentioned ' one more than a decade earlier. In 1990, former local and NSW state politician Ted Mack was elected to the federal seat of North Sydney, and was re-elected in 1993 before retiring at the 1996 election. That year, another independent, Peter Andren, was elected to the regional NSW seat of Calare, which takes in the city of Orange. He was re-elected in 1998, 2001 and 2004, and was present in Parliament when Mr Katter was first elected as an independent.
Verdict: wrong
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