Tony Windsor Vs Barnaby Joyce In New England

10/03/2016 12:25 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Independent member of parliament Tony Windsor laughs while at a National Press Club luncheon in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. Three independent lawmakers who will likely decide which party governs Australia said Wednesday they plan to demand details of how much competing election promises would cost the nation over the next three years. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Former parliamentary kingmaker Tony Windsor has pledged to mount a full-scale grassroots campaign to unseat Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in the rural NSW seat of New England.

Windsor, a former independent MP who held the seat for 12 years, said he is looking forward to he is looking forward to the "David and Goliath" fight for the seat.

But it isn't a fight Joyce is scared of, with the deputy PM announcing moments ahead of Windsor's announcement he was looking forward to taking on his old rival.

"It is not about sending Joyce a message, it is about winning the seat," Windsor told reporters during an extended press conference on Thursday.

"One thing that can happen here is that people can demonstrate if they are serious about their own futures, they can send an enormous message to this place and fight the political machines that are going to move in on this and in an attempt to grind me up.

"Well, they might grind me up, but if people are serious, and it is a challenge to the electorate and a challenge to the people who live there -- if you're serious, you've got a choice. If you are not, I would vote Joyce."

As an independent in a hung parliament, Windsor was vital to propping up the government of Julia Gillard.

Moments before Windsor made his highly anticipated announcement, Joyce had a pre-emptive press conference of his now in rural Tamworth.

"Through my political career I've always had fights," Mr Joyce told the ABC.

"Overwhelmingly people see Mr Windsor's political journey as one where he started as an independent and ended up as a member of the Labor-Green-independent alliance."

Windsor retired from politics in 2013, and then senator Joyce moved from Queensland to Tamworth NSW and made a successful run for the lower house seat.

The 65 year old cited his opposition to the Shenhua coal mine proposal, Gonski school funding and Climate Change amongst the primary reasons for his mounting a comeback.

Windsor is not the only former MP who has considered a comeback.

The ABC reports former Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, is also considering a run for outgoing Liberal National MP Teresa Gambaro's federal seat of Brisbane.

Newman's biographer, Gavin King, told the ABC he had spoken to the former premier this morning.

"He is indeed weighing it up but there are no major or firm moves," Mr King said.

"Campbell has been contacted by a couple of federal MPs, people from the national and the state executive of the LNP."

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