The battle for New England is getting down and dirty, with independent candidate Tony Windsor calling his lawyers over an article in today’s Australian alleging that he was a bully who whipped his younger classmates when he was in high school, almost 50 years ago. Windsor has also called for the Nationals to take down an advertisement that compares his relationship with the people of New England to a “cheating” spouse.

Nationals member for New England and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s new ad, in which he implies that his rival Tony Windsor has been “cheating” on the electorate of New England, for preferring Gillard over Abbott, has been called many things over the past few days — hilarious, outrageous, audacious. Crikey would prefer to say it has chutzpah. Windsor expressed his anger in a strange tweet on Sunday night.

Tony Windsor tweet

What does he mean by that last line? We hear from the people of New England that Barnaby Joyce has once more cast himself upon the waters of dirty campaigning.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey