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A by-election was held for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Lyne on 6 September 2008. This was triggered by the resignation of National Party MP Mark Vaile. The by-election was held on the same day as the Mayo by-election, and the Western Australian state election.
The writ for the by-election was issued on 4 August, with the rolls closing on 8 August. Candidate nominations closed 14 August. The by-election was contested on the same boundaries drawn for Lyne at the 2007 federal election. At that election, the National Party won the seat over the Labor Party by a two-party preferred margin of 58.58% to 41.42%.
Vaile first won the seat of Lyne at the 1993 election for the Nationals in a very close contest with the Liberal candidate. In ministerial positions since 1997, he became leader of the National Party and thus Deputy Prime Minister in the Howard government from 2005. At the 2007 federal election, the opposition Labor Party defeated the incumbent Liberal-National coalition government. This marked the first change of government in over 11 years. Following the coalition election defeat, Vaile announced on 19 July 2008 his intention to resign his seat, to take effect on 30 July 2008. This followed Peter McGauran in Gippsland and former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in Mayo.
Eight candidates contested the by-election. They are listed below in ballot order.
- Fishing Party - Bob Smith, retired builder.
- Citizens Electoral Council - Graeme Muldoon, farmer, contested Lyne in 2007.
- Independent - Stewart Scott-Irving, education consultant, contested Lyne in 2007.
- Democratic Labor Party - Michael Patrick O'Donohue, teacher.
- Independent - Rob Oakeshott, former state Nationals turned Independent MP for Port Macquarie since 1996. He polled more than two-thirds of the primary vote as an independent in his state seat at the last two elections, and his seat makes up more than half of Lyne. ABC political analyst Antony Green described Oakeshott as the "clear favourite", and "highly likely" to win the by-election. The Nationals admitted he posed a big threat. Upon announcing his candidacy, federal Nationals leader Warren Truss labelled Oakeshott a "Labor patsy". Oakeshott did not direct his preferences to any candidate. Attacks upon Oakeshott by the Nationals increased in the last week of campaigning.
- Australian Greens - Susie Russell, local environmentalist, contested Lyne in 2007.
- National Party of Australia - Rob Drew, former Port Macquarie mayor.
- Independent - Barry Wright, retired, contested Lyne in 2007.
Oakeshott obtained a majority of votes in every polling booth, with the exception of Dyers Crossing, receiving about two-thirds of the primary vote and three-quarters of the two-candidate vote.
|Lyne by-election, 2008|
|Fishing Party||Bob Smith||2,566||3.46||+3.46|
|Democratic Labor||Michael Patrick O'Donohue||853||1.15||+1.15|
|Total formal votes||74,147||96.55||+1.62|
|Independent gain from National||Swing||N/A|
- "By-elections to be held on September 6". AAP. 31 July 2008.
- Vaile quits politics | Herald Sun
- "By-elections to be held on 6 September: The Age, 31 July 2008". News.theage.com.au. 31 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Lyne by-election Candidates". AEC. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Nationals in danger of losing Vaile's seat: ABC News 5 August 2008". Abc.net.au. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Mclennan, David (6 August 2008). "Party 'jihad' to confront Independent at by-election: Canberra Times 6 August 2008". Canberratimes.com.au. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "2008 Lyne By-election: Antony Green ABC". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Oakeshott likely to contest Lyne by-election: ABC News 3 August 2008". Abc.net.au. 3 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Oakeshott is a Labor patsy says Truss: The Age 5 August 2008". News.theage.com.au. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Oakeshott rules out preference deal: ABC News 19 August 2008". Abc.net.au. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Matthew Clayfield (1 September 2008). "Nationals attack 'Labor stooge' in Lyne poll: The Australian 1/9/2008". Theaustralian.news.com.au. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Greens unanimously endorse Lyne candidate: ABC News 28 July 2008". Abc.net.au. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Nats name candidate for Lyne by-election". News.smh.com.au. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Liberals avoid Lyne by-election". ABC. 8 August 2008.
- AEC Results: Lyne by-election 2008