Hanson hurt: Hassell

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Nationals' candidate for O'Connor John Hassell hands out fliers at the Albany Town Hall.
Camera IconNationals' candidate for O'Connor John Hassell hands out fliers at the Albany Town Hall. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A dejected John Hassell said he was disappointed with his results at last weekend’s election, after trekking 70,000km campaigning in the electorate over the past year.

Mr Hassell entered the race hoping to usurp Rick Wilson and win the seat of O’Connor for The Nationals for the second time in nine years. As of yesterday afternoon, he had received 12.6 per cent of the primary vote — nearly 30 per cent less than Mr Wilson.

It was another big swing against the party in this electorate, recording a tally 5 per cent smaller than its low 2016 one.

Mr Hassell, a Pingelly farmer who started campaigning months out from the election, said he was glad the Coalition was on track to take a parliamentary majority, but was disappointed in his own result.

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“I worked really hard, but I think people were just too concerned about change when (Labor leader Bill) Shorten was proposing what he was,” he said.

Mr Hassell said he believed the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in the O’Connor poll hurt his result, and expressed frustration at restrictions placed on his campaign by his party.

“We didn’t sell ourselves properly, make no mistake,” he said.

“Getting on the road early was a good thing to get done (but) I probably want to take more control of my campaign in future and have a much more defined policy platform, which I don’t think we did well enough.”

Mr Hassell said it was too early to say if he would consider running for the seat a third time in 2022.

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