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A town best known as a haven for marijuana smoking had the biggest double-digit swing backlash against both the Greens and Labor at the federal election.

Nimbin, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, usually votes for the Greens and has a Hemp Embassy shop on its main street.

But on Saturday, the Greens suffered a huge 19 per cent swing against it in the Nimbin Central School booth within the safe Nationals electorate of Page, Australian Electoral Commission results showed.

This occurred despite an election campaign visit from Greens Senate candidate David Shoebridge, a former NSW state upper house MP who has called for recreational cannabis use to be legalised.

Labor’s primary vote in Nimbin fell by 10 per cent, even though the ALP won the federal election.

The left-wing vote instead went to independent candidate Dr Hanabeth Luke, a senior lecturer at Southern Cross University in Lismore who had help from multimillionaire Simon Holmes a Court’s Climate 200 campaign.

A town best known as a haven for marijuana smoking had the biggest backlash against both the Greens and Labor at the federal election (pictured is Greens Senate candidate David Shoebridge campaigning in Nimbin on May 2)

A town best known as a haven for marijuana smoking had the biggest backlash against both the Greens and Labor at the federal election (pictured is Greens Senate candidate David Shoebridge campaigning in Nimbin on May 2)

The environmental science academic and activist won the Nimbin booth with 29.22 per cent of the primary vote, ahead of Greens candidate Kashmir Miller on 28.65 per cent, Labor’s Patrick Deegan on 19.48 per cent and sitting Nationals member Kevin Hogan on just 6.91 per cent – suffering only a 0.6 per cent swing against him.

Dr Luke said the coal seam gas issue helped her win the Nimbin booth.

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‘The outcome at this booth was a welcome surprise to myself and my team,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I suspect this strong result related to the fact that people in Nimbin know me for my PhD work on the social and economic impacts of coal seam gas development.’

The Climate 200 campaign only ran independents against sitting Liberal and Nationals MPs but not Labor members.

This saw ‘teal’ independents pick up the Liberal seats of Wentworth, North Sydney and Mackellar in Sydney and the Melbourne electorates of Kooyong and Goldstein.

The tactics to only target Coalition seats meant the Greens were the big beneficiaries of protest voters in Labor electorates.

In the Labor seat of Richmond, on the NSW far north coast, re-elected MP Justine Elliot didn’t face a challenge from the Climate 200 campaign.

Nimbin, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, usually votes for the Greens and has a Hemp Embassy shop on its main street

Nimbin, in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, usually votes for the Greens and has a Hemp Embassy shop on its main street

The polling booths that backed the Greens

BYRON BAY (Richmond seat – Labor): 54 per cent primary vote

DOCKLANDS (Melbourne seat – Greens): 47.2 per cent 

SOUTH BRISBANE (Griffith seat- now Greens): 46 per cent primary vote 

NEWTOWN (Grayndler seat – Labor): 44.41 per cent primary vote

Source: Australian Electoral Commission 

Within her electorate, Greens candidate Mandy Nolan won 54 per cent of the primary vote in the Byron Bay polling booth in an area that overlaps with the Greens state seat of Ballina.

The Greens heartland is now a former abattoir and whaling station town with a median house price of $2.8million.

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Its primary vote in Byron Bay was even higher than Greens leader Adam Bandt’s 47.2 per cent primary vote share at the Docklands booth in his Melbourne electorate, which overlaps with a state seat of the same name.

Within Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s own Sydney electorate of Grayndler, Greens candidate Rachael Jacobs won 44.41 per cent of the primary vote in the Newtown polling booth – equal to the long-time Labor MP’s vote share.

The PM’s inner-city electorate overlaps with the Greens state seats of Newtown and Balmain.

In the Brisbane seat of Griffith, the Greens had 46 per cent of the primary vote, with victorious candidate Max Chandler-Mather easily outpolling defeated Labor frontbencher Terri Butler on 26.86 per cent.

This booth also falls within the state Greens seat of South Brisbane, previously held by Labor premiers Anna Bligh and Vince Gair and until 2020, former deputy premier Jackie Trad.

Nimbin falls within the state seat of Lismore which Labor won back in 2019 for the first time since 1965 as the coal seam gas issue turned voters off the Nationals. 

The left-wing vote instead went to independent candidate Dr Hanabeth Luke, a senior lecturer at Southern Cross University in Lismore

The left-wing vote instead went to independent candidate Dr Hanabeth Luke, a senior lecturer at Southern Cross University in Lismore

Dr Luke said her doctorate had focused on the CSG issue, with her thesis helping her win the support of Nimbin environmentalists.

‘There is a strong environmental network around Nimbin,’ she said.

Dr Luke took credit for galvanising voters against CSG. 

‘In my PhD work 10 years ago I developed the poll and surveys that showed very low levels of support for unconventional gas development across the region,’ she said.

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‘Large yellow signs on the outskirts of Lismore say “87% said no to CSG”. That came from my PhD.’

Dr Luke had help from multimillionaire Simon Holmes a Court's Climate 200 campaign

Dr Luke had help from multimillionaire Simon Holmes a Court’s Climate 200 campaign

In 2003 Dr Luke was filmed confronting former UK prime minister Tony Blair about the war in Iraq. 

In another intriguing development, former prime minister Scott Morrison’s government had the highest primary vote in the Lismore booths where two devastating floods have hit the city this year.

Mr Hogan, the Nationals MP, had 30.89 per cent of the first-preference vote at the Southern Cross University campus booth.

The Greens came third with 19.78 per cent of the vote behind Labor on 20.05 per cent.

At her workplace, Dr Luke came fourth with 17.89 per cent.

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