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Pre-poll starts as race tightens in NSW election

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

Locals casting their votes yesterday. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Locals casting their votes yesterday. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Pre-poll voting began yesterday for the state election and attracted a large turnout to the polling booth in the old Pellew & Moore building.

As the election race heated up, several candidates began to post on social media what their how-to-vote cards would look like this weekend.

They included where they’d be preferencing the other candidates and parties for the upper and lower houses.

Roy Butler, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate, had Independent Phil Naden listed as number two on his how-to-vote card, followed by fellow Independent Owen Whyman third, Country Labor’s Darriea Turley fourth and the National’s Andrew Schier fifth.

The other four Barwon candidates were left unnumbered. 

Mr Butler did not allocate any preference numbers for the upper house, except to list the SFF first.

Phil Naden was also picked as the “best of the rest” in Country Labor’s how-to-vote card, with Darriea Turley placing him at number two.

For the other candidates, her card was listed as follows: The Greens’ Leigh Williams third, Roy Butler fourth, the Liberal Democrats’ Andrew Fleisher fifth, Owen Whyman sixth, Sustainable Australia’s Maree McDonald-Pritchard seventh, Animal Justice Party’s Alan Jason eighth and the Nationals’ Andrew Schier last on number nine. 

For the upper house, the Greens were put second, the Animal Justice Party third, The Small Business Party fourth and Group L fifth, the group of Independents which have rallied around former Greens MP and now Independent Jeremy Buckingham.

Nationals’ candidate Andrew Schier has suggested himself at number one and left the other candidate boxes unnumbered.

For the upper house, he’s placed the Liberal Democrats second and the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) third. 

Over the weekend, the Liberal Democrats had Barwon listed as follows: The Nationals second, Owen Whyman third, Phil Naden fourth, SFF fifth, Country Labor sixth, Sustainable Australia seventh, Animal Justice Party eight and the Greens last on number nine. 

The start of pre-poll voting also coincided with a significant tightening within the electoral race.

Yesterday, a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for The Daily Telegraph showed the Nationals holding an incredibly slim lead over the SFF in Barwon, 51% to 49% after preferences.

The poll of 502 voters also showed primary votes of 40% and 30% for the Nationals and SFF respectively.

Internal polling in The Telegraph had the Nationals’ primary vote at 35%, well down on its 49.1% in the 2015 election. 

Internal polling in The Australian had the Nationals in the low 30s and SFF in the high 20s, not just for Barwon but for the seat of Murray. 

In the betting, Sportsbet’s odds for Barwon were $2 for the Nationals, $2.25 for the SFF and $5 for Country Labor. 

Pre-poll voting will continue to Friday, March 22 at 6pm, which is the night before the election.

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