IF a federal election was held today, sitting New England MP Barnaby Joyce would still win by a landslide, a new survey reveals.
The Deputy Prime Minister would receive 44.6 per cent of the primary vote, the ReachTEL survey of more than 1000 people found.
His long-time rival and former New England independent Tony Windsor polled 26.5 per cent.
One Nation has shot up in popularity, with almost 10 per cent of the primary vote, followed by Labor (8.4 per cent) and the Greens (2.4 per cent). About 5 per cent were undecided.
The Nationals hold a strong majority in the two-party preferred results, with 57 per cent of the vote against Mr Windsor’s 43 per cent.
New England faces a by-election if the High Court rules Mr Joyce is ineligible to sit in parliament due to his dual New Zealand citizenship, which he has since renounced.
The poll also found more than half of Mr Joyce’s constituents (50.6 per cent) would prefer to see the government invest in renewable energy projects over coal (36.7 per cent), while 12.7 per cent were undecided.
The strong renewable support goes against the government’s current pro-coal rhetoric, such as its plan to extend the lifetime of the Liddell power station by five years, despite the protests of owner AGL.
“New England does more than its fair share for renewables but I’m going to be a realist in this and keep coal fired power going,” Mr Joyce said. “I’m going to look after the people of Tamworth and the New England and make sure they have an affordable power bill.
“If we don’t provide a logical answer to excessive green policies, One Nation will.”
Mr Joyce said he would also continue pushing for new gas fields, which he believes will play an important role in the nation’s energy security in the future.
“We can’t live in a state where 95 per cent of our gas is imported because other states will start saying ‘look after your own show’,” he said.
Last week the federal government put pressure on the NSW government to approve the Narrabri coal seam gas development.