HISTORY has officially been made in Indi.
For the first time in Australian politics, an independent MP has been replaced by another independent in the federal Parliament with the baton handed from Cathy McGowan to Helen Haines at the official declaration of the poll this week by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Dr Haines prevailed by 2816 votes on a two-candidate preferred basis from a resurgent Liberal Party led by its candidate Steve Martin.
The victory wasn't as tight as Ms McGowan's first victory in 2013 when she beat Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella by 439 votes, but on both occasions the independent needed preferences to edge ahead after polling less first preference votes.
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The Liberal vote was up more than 7 per cent compared to the 2016 election when Ms McGowan strengthened her grip on Indi with a second successive win against Mrs Mirabella.
In many electorates such a swing would have delivered Mr Martin victory and a seat in Parliament despite the poor showing of Coalition comrades, the Nationals.
But the strength of the Haines campaign and the undeniable power of the Voices for Indi movement has delivered Team Orange the spoils.
What is also beyond question is the role Voices for Indi played, beginning with the selection of Dr Haines as the candidate.
Despite protestations, some delivered in a rather forceful manner, from Team Orange during the campaign that there was no formal tie between them and Dr Haines, the view wasn't universally shared.
The facts are Voices for Indi selected a candidate ahead of two other contenders - a pre-selection of sorts - and the 1600 volunteers on the ground decked out in orange were determined to make sure their chosen candidate retained the seat which is well within their rights.
They succeeded and have not been backward in coming forward in spruiking the model they created back in 2013 helped deliver success for Dr Haines.
But put simply you can't have your orange cake and eat it too when it suits.
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