CAREER OVER?: Rob Oakeshott said it's highly unlikely he'll continue his political career.
CAREER OVER?: Rob Oakeshott said it's highly unlikely he'll continue his political career. Sam Flanagan

'Tarnished goods': Oakeshott's career is most likely over

ROB Oakeshott said it's 'highly unlikely' he will continue his political career after conceding defeat in Cowper.

Mr Oakeshott was tipped by many to end The Nationals' grip on the electorate, but ultimately fell short in his quest as Pat Conaghan was elected for his first term in parliament.

Speaking at an event for his supporters at the Jetty Markets on Sunday, Mr Oakeshott was visibly shattered by the outcome.

"I'm obviously gutted,” he said.

"It certainly wasn't what it felt like in the pre-polls and travelling around on the day.

"I was very surprised at The Nationals swing and also some of the booth by booth stuff locally.”

Mr Oakeshott said the hardest part was not being able to secure victory for his loyal band of volunteers.

"It's not about me, it's about trying to make this area a better place and there's been all sorts of people who have come together to try and make it happen.”

After a decorated career at both the state and federal level, Mr Oakeshott admitted his time might be up in the political world.

"I've been through nine elections,” he said.

"When I was young I went well and won seven. Now that's two losses and you start to become tarnished goods and the bones are weary. I've also got a young family.

"I'd say it's highly unlikely but let me have a sleep.”

There are possibly numerous reasons why Mr Oakeshott didn't poll as well as the bookmakers and experts predicted.

One of the factors which undoubtedly cost the 49-year-old in the booths was The Nationals relentless personal attacks on Mr Oakeshott over the last two weeks.

"Political communication people can pretty much say whatever they want and that's the problem, because they do,” he said.

"Particularly when there's big budgets, big donors and desperate people. Things get said.

"I was proud of our team. When they went low we went high.”

Mr Oakeshott said there were three pillars in The Nationals campaign which ultimatley won them the seat in his eyes; fear, smear and beer.

"The fear is the nationwide fear; that retirees tax message was just thrown around. I think people over 65 nationally went hard Liberal/National.

"There was obviously the smear in the last couple of weeks and all the reputational attacks personally.

"And to The Nats credit they ran around pulling beers all over the place the last couple of weeks. I had someone say to me at a polling booth 'nah I'm voting for the other bloke because he poured me a beer. That's Australia in 2019 and I've got to respect the ballot box.”



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