Darling Range by-election: WA seat in balance as voters have their say
LABOR is praying for a big voter turnout in the controversial Darling Range by-election, as the government eyes of an unlikely victory in the trouble-plagued seat.
Initially believing it would lose the six per cent seat to the Liberals - following the dodgy CV scandals surrounding former member Barry Urban and former candidate Colleen Yates - Labor operatives today believed the party could cling to the seat by as little as one per cent.
But they believed that anything less than an 80 per cent turnout by voters could see Labor lose Darling Range.
In Mundaring this morning, Premier Mark McGowan – with candidate Tania Lawrence by his side – urged people to vote.
“The by-election is very tight,” Mr McGowan said.
“I expect this to be a tight contest.
“I encourage everyone, through the course of the day, if they can to get out and vote. That is great democracy.
“The circumstances (of this by-election) have been very difficult.
“There is ordinarily a swing against the government. But what we have done is to be as positive as we can to run a top-notch candidate.”
Prior to last year’s State Election, Darling Range had been in Liberal hands for 50 years.
But in a shock result, Labor won the seat only to see MP Barry Urban resign after being caught out with a dodgy CV, and embroiled in the Fake Medal scandal.
Labor’s first candidate, Colleen Yates, was also forced to resign because of a misleading CV.
Liberals today claimed a three per cent swing against Labor would be a good result for the party.
Liberal leader Mike Nahan, also claimed the contest was “going to be tight”.
And he told the media that the seat’s demographic had changed, making it Labor territory.
“There has been a transformation in the seat,” he said.
“Before the last election, it was a 2.5 to 3 per cent Labor sear because of the changes.
“It’s going to be tight, that’s all we can say.”
Sources told The Sunday Times that Labor had outspent the Liberals 2-1 in the Darling Range fight.
Sources said Labor had spent more than $200,000 on the campaign.
“Labor has spent a fortune on this campaign,” Liberal candidate Alyssa Hayden said.
“They have outspent us.”
Eleven candidates contested Darling Range, including One Nation’s Rod Caddies.
Leader Pauline Hanson was in Byford this morning drumming up support for her candidate.
She conformed she would be running candidates at the next Federal Election.
“I am here to stay,” she declared.