Poll shows La­bor in the race

Pilbara News - - Election 2017 - Tom Zaun­mayr

La­bor’s can­di­date could be a threat in the race for the Pil­bara seat in the March 11 State elec­tion, with sev­eral polls show­ing he is gain­ing ground on in­cum­bent Bren­don Grylls.

Pun­dits had been talk­ing up a two-horse race be­tween Mr Grylls and Lib­eral can­di­date Mark Alchin, but Me­di­aReach polling passed on to the Pil­bara News by the Na­tional Party and an on­line poll by the News in­di­cates La­bor’s Kevin Michel is also in the race.

The News poll of 646 read­ers showed Mr Grylls was on track to gain 30 per cent of the pri­mary vote, with Mr Michel sit­ting in sec­ond on 24 per cent.

One Na­tion can­di­date David Archibald and the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers’ Fiona WhiteHar­tig also polled in dou­ble fig­ures and could have a big say in who is elected when pref­er­ence deals are taken into ac­count. Mr Alchin sat in fifth spot with 8 per cent.

Since be­ing tal­lied, the poll has at­tracted a fur­ther 504 votes and has the Na­tion­als (27 per cent) ahead of the Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers (24) and One Na­tion (17), though most of those ex­tra votes have come since the poll was shared on on­line pages favourable to these three par­ties.

A sep­a­rate Me­di­aReach poll sup­plied by the Na­tion­als had Mr Grylls at­tract­ing 33 per cent of the pri­mary vote, with Mr Michel sec­ond (23 per cent) and Mr Alchin third (13 per cent). The poll of 513 vot­ers had Mr Grylls re­tain­ing the seat with 49 per cent of the two-party pre­ferred vote over Mr Michel.

The 513 vot­ers rep­re­sent about 5 per cent of reg­is­tered Pil­bara vot­ers based on 2013 num­bers.

Be­fore Mr Grylls won the seat in 2013, Pil­bara had been pre­dom­i­nantly a La­bor seat since 1939.

A straw poll by West Aus­tralian Re­gional News­pa­pers, pub­lisher of the Pil­bara News, early last week in­di­cated about half of vot­ers in re­gional WA were less likely to vote for the Lib­eral Party be­cause of its pref­er­ence deal with One Na­tion.

The deal means the Lib­er­als will pref­er­ence One Na­tion ahead of the Na­tion­als in the Up­per House in ex­change for One Na­tion pref­er­enc­ing Lib­er­als ahead of La­bor in the Lower House.

Of the 482 re­spon­dents, 56 per cent in­di­cated they were now less likely to vote Lib­eral.

About 30 per cent said the pref­er­ence deal made no dif­fer­ence.

Since the poll was con­ducted, the WA Na­tion­als have pref­er­enced the Greens above the Lib­eral Party in the Min­ing and Pas­toral and South West Up­per House seats.

Mr Grylls won the Pil­bara seat with an 11.5 per cent mar­gin in 2013, and at­tracted 38.6 per cent of the pri­mary vote to La­bor’s 29.8.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

WA La­bor leader Mark McGowan and Pil­bara can­di­date Kevin Michel.

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