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John Barilaro responds to accusations he’s meddling in the Eden-Monaro by-election

Nationals leader John Barilaro is being accused of lobbying behind the scenes against the Liberals in the lead up to the Eden-Monaro by-election.

As reported in The Australian today, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro is allegedly urging his voters to preference Labor’s Kristy McBain ahead of the Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs.

Responding to the accusations, Mr Barilaro told Ray Hadley the official position is to preference the Liberal Party despite what rogue members may be doing.

“Now, there are going to be members on the ground, The Nats, The Libs, who have always had a bit of argy-bargy down there.

“Some members and people that vote one way or the other will say and do as they please.”

However, when pressed by Ray on his personal preference, Mr Barilaro stumbled on his answer.

“Mate, come-on the privacy of the ballot box, when did we lose that?

“Look, I’m a coalitionist… I’ll be voting Trevor Hicks one and the coalition second, so we’re all good.”

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The former State MP for Monaro, Peter Cochran has come to John Barilaro’s defense and poured cold water on the rumours.

Speaking with Deborah Knight, Mr Cochran said he has been to polling booths in the region and has a Nationals how-to-vote card with Liberals clearly preferenced second.

“This is absolute skulduggery, Deb, that’s going on down there in the polling booths at the moment if that is the story that’s coming out of it.

“And it’s coming straight out of the Labor Party trying to cause trouble between the Libs and the Nats.”

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