31 can­di­dates seek your vote

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - SHANE FOWLES

THIRTY- ONE can­di­dates will con­test the Gee­long re­gion’s Lower House seats at this month’s state elec­tion.

The Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion held bal­lot draws yes­ter­day ahead of the open­ing of early vot­ing cen­tres on Mon­day.

Strong turnouts are ex­pected at vot­ing cen­tres across the state, in­clud­ing the lo­cal out­lets in Bell Post Hill, Bel­mont, Moolap and Torquay.

Al­most half of all 4.13 mil­lion en­rolled Vic­to­ri­ans are pre­dicted to vote be­fore the November 24 elec­tion day, elec­toral com­mis­sioner War­wick Gately said.

“Based on data from 2014, we’ve found that in elec­torates with a high num­ber of can­di­dates, there tends to be an in­crease in in­for­mal votes,” he said. “This can be due to vot­ers re­peat­ing or miss­ing num­bers, or be­com­ing con­fused about pref­er­ences.”

The to­tal num­ber of can­di­dates across the five lo­cal seats has fallen slightly since the last elec­tion.

How­ever iden­ti­cal-sized fields from 2014 will con­test Lara (five), Gee­long (eight) and South Bar­won (eight).

La­bor’s Lisa Neville saw off eight chal­lengers for the seat of Bel­lar­ine in 2014, but now faces just four op­po­nents.

The ab­sence of a hand­ful of con­ser­va­tive mi­nor par­ties makes Lib­eral can­di­date Brian McKi­t­er­ick’s task of se­cur­ing pref­er­ence flows that much tougher.

Mi­nor par­ties Vic­to­rian So­cial­ists and the An­i­mal Jus­tice Party are stand­ing in every seat in the re­gion, along with La­bor, Lib­er­als and the Greens.

Lib­eral can­di­date Freya Fidge se­cured the cov­eted top spot on the bal­lot in Gee­long, with for­mer mayor and in­de­pen­dent Dar­ryn Lyons last.

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