THE COUNT continues from today's Federal Election, but The Nationals Pat Conaghan looks primed to win the seat in the face of a strong challenge from Independent Rob Oakeshott.
Mr Oakeshott stood for the seat at the last Federal Election, only to be bested by longtime MP Luke Hartsuyker. But Mr Hartsuyker's retirement opened the race for 2019.
Speculation was rife that Mr Oakeshott would be successful second time around, this time against a rookie National, in Mr Conaghan, who was born and raised in Kempsey.
In a surprising night of results, the overall outcome is not yet known, with the Coalition polling especially well in Queensland.