04/06/2016 8:47 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST

'I Have Lived Here All Of My Life': Windsor Steps Up New England Fight

The battle between Tony Windsor and Barnaby Joyce is heating up.

Independent candidate for New England Tony Windsor is now the underdog in his former seat.

Tony Windsor has stepped up his attack on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in the high profile battle for the regional seat of New England in NSW.

Windsor previously represented the electorate, which takes in the rural centres of Armidale, Tamworth and Scone, as an independent from 2001 to 2013 when he retired at the election.

He is now attempting a comeback that would mean knocking off Joyce, who won New England for the Nationals in 2013 with a comfortable majority.

The regional face-off is shaping as one of the most intriguing contests of 2016, with Windsor on Saturday ramping up his attack on the sitting member.

"The current member is reinventing many things that were achieved prior to his flying in from Queensland, and claiming them as achievements and a record of his own," Windsor told ABC.

"So I think people will see that this is more about Mr Joyce's political career than about the one thing that I hold precious, and I have lived here all of my life, educated here, farmed here, represented here.

"I'm more interested in these people in this electorate and country people generally and I think that record shows through the various initiatives, the health and hospital fund that was allocated in the hung Parliament, 100 percent to country people."

Joyce has previously conceded he faces a "tough" fight to retain New England, and has spruiked his promotion of local infrastructure and strong agricultural commodity prices.