DEFEATED Wannon Labor candidate Michael Barling has vowed to return to the political arena despite failing to resonate with voters with his message for change.
The Emmanuel College teacher ran an energetic and heartfelt campaign this year, getting off to an early start in May.
But as the polling figures emerged it showed Mr Barling had suffered from the same national backlash against the Labor brand.
The candidate has been praised as a big improvement over Labor’s 2010 challenger Judith McNamara, who only stepped into the campaign at the eleventh hour.
By yesterday afternoon Mr Barling’s first primary vote sat at 30.11 per cent — only slightly ahead of Ms McNamara’s result.
Speaking to The Standard he was upbeat about the outcome but would not comment on what had caused his lacklustre result.
“We’ll be doing the analysis. I’ve been really positive over the campaign and I’ll be really positive now,” Mr Barling said.
“There’s no disappointment for us. When I look at the support I got and I see candidates like Tim Emanuelle it’s all positives.
“To his credit Dan Tehan ran a great campaign.”
Asked if the national debate had poisoned local efforts, Mr Barling reiterated that it would be analysed within the party.
If he does decide to re-contest it will be a harder task unseating Mr Tehan who now has Wannon locked down on a 9.7 per cent margin.
“I’m ready to put my hand up again,” Mr Barling said yesterday.
‘‘I’ve already publicly stated that I’ll be ready to go again if the Labor party calls me.”
He remained more cautious on entering the state election, saying “I haven’t thought about the state side of things”.
“I’m pretty happy with the way we tried to focus on the big items such as the National Broadband Network and renewable energy.”