Darling Range by-election: Poll shows vote down to the wire
INTERNAL WA Labor polling shows the two major parties are neck and neck in today’s State by-election for the seat of Darling Range.
But in a surprise, the poll shows the Liberals are bleeding votes to the new Western Australian Party — suggesting voters are angry with a lack of action on the GST.
Despite recent polling showing Labor’s Tania Lawrence was on track to win the seat with less than a 2 per cent swing against the party, internal figures obtained by The Weekend West show preferences flowing against Labor to produce a narrow, two-party preferred vote of 50.8 per cent for Ms Lawrence to the Liberal candidate Alyssa Hayden’s 49.2 per cent.
Labor’s primary vote is sitting at 38 per cent and the Liberal Party’s primary vote remains at a little over 31 per cent, but some voters are shifting to the Western Australian Party, which the poll suggests is on track to record a primary vote of almost 5 per cent.
Details from a ReachTel poll commissioned by The Weekend West last week shows the most important issue for more than one-quarter of the voters in Darling Range is management of the economy.
But the unfair distribution of the GST ranked as the top issue for 10 per cent of the electorate, largely driven by dissatisfied voters who had shifted their choice to the Western Australian Party.
The party, which polled more than 9 per cent at the Cottesloe by-election, has devised its campaign around securing a better share of GST for WA.
Its candidate, former newsreader Russell Goodrick, said the issue had been a prominent feature of the by-election campaign.
“We’re pleasantly surprised,” he said. “It’s quite amazing walking around and talking to people. At first I wondered how much the GST would resonate with people.
“I’ve found a lot of people are saying, ‘Yes, WA needs more money’ — because we’re not getting money from Canberra, local councils have spent their ratepayers’ money on infrastructure.”
Senior sources for both major parties have said it was critical that all registered voters have their say.
Premier Mark McGowan has repeatedly said during the campaign that locals could vote ahead of election day today.
By Thursday, more than 6000 people had made their choice.