Cowper Federal Election candidates double-down with Russell Crowe and Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce and Pat Conaghan at the Golden Sands Tavern, Nambucca Heads, last night. Photo: Christian Knight
Barnaby Joyce and Pat Conaghan at the Golden Sands Tavern, Nambucca Heads, last night. Photo: Christian Knight

INDEPENDENT candidate for the seat of Cowper, Rob Oakeshott, trumpeted at the weekend that he'd gained the support of Hollywood ornament and local resident Russell Crowe for his tilt at the Federal Election.

Mr Oakeshott was delighted that he'd garnered the backing of a 'beautiful mind' and onetime Romper Stomper star over the Pacific Highway bypass plans for Coffs Harbour:

Buoyed by the celebrity salutation, Mr Oakeshott had only hours to wait before his main rival for the seat, The Nationals' Pat Conaghan, fired a return salvo across the Bounty, as the charismatic, controversial Barnaby Joyce sailed into Nambucca Heads.

The former Top Nat and political firebrand mostly dodged the media as he came down the hill from the Tablelands to spend a day campaigning on the hustings with Mr Conaghan.

Mr Oakeshott heard of the incursion, and quickly had his thumbs whirring:

An offsider for Mr Conaghan was happy to explain that Mr Joyce - like other high profile politicians from various parties - was keen to beat the drums outside of his immediate electorate of New England.

So after a day of pressing the flesh, enthused local Nats found themselves at the Golden Sands Tavern in Nambucca Heads - where Mr Joyce was regularly approached by admirers for 'selfie' shots.

Seeing Mr Joyce at the pub was something of a revelation, as even a Labor MP once conceded that no one could "work a room" as adeptly as the Member for New England.

And the onetime Queensland senator was also happy to deliver an 'et tu' moment for the Gladiator and Mr Oakeshott:

The stakes, of course, are high, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison signalled last week when he suggested the fate of Cowper could determine the hue of the next Federal Government.

If that's so, then the money men may have dire news for both Labor and the Coalition. TAB.com.au has Mr Oakeshott red hot at $1.45 to take the seat ahead of Mr Conaghan at $2.50.

If that plays out, and neither of the majors can form government in their own right, we might have a while to wait before the former queen-maker decides to support one side or the other, or neither.

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