Meryl Swanson has become Paterson's first female MP

TRIUMPH: Meryl Swanson's win at the polls has seen Labor snatch the federal seat of Paterson away from the Liberal Party for the first time in 15 years.
TRIUMPH: Meryl Swanson's win at the polls has seen Labor snatch the federal seat of Paterson away from the Liberal Party for the first time in 15 years.

WHILE the nation waited to learn who would be prime minister the federal seat of Paterson has swung to Labor.

Meryl Swanson, the Labor Party candidate for Paterson, received a call from the party’s general secretary, Kayla Murnain, just after 7pm on voting night. She was told her that the party was calling the seat. Votes were still being counted, but at 9.30pm, with 67 per cent of the vote counted, Labor had 60 per cent of the two party preferred vote. Ms Swanson addressed a raucous group of supporters in the Diamond Room of Maitland City Bowling Club just after 8.30pm.

“I can't do it on my own and I'm not looking to do it on my own, I need to bring people with me,” she said. “That, I think, is the key to being a successful local member. You need to bring your community together.”

Paterson had been held by the Liberal Party since 2001, but a dramatic redistribution coupled with sitting MP Bob Baldwin's retirement made the seat a tough hold. Ms Swanson, the first female member for Paterson, delivered the region’s biggest swing at 11 per cent.

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