THE seat of Darling Range will come down to preferencing, according to incumbent Tony Simpson.
Mr Simpson is the endorsed Liberal candidate for the seat and says he’s been enjoying the campaign trail, focusing on his electorate since he stepped down from the front bench last September.
He was coy about his upcoming election promises but said announcements regarding “community facilities” would be made in coming weeks.
The Victorian-born politician moved to WA in 1970 where he served as a councillor in his shire, and joined Parliament in 2005.
He has at various times served as whip and minister.
A former baker, he still carries a fresh loaf of bread to barbecues and has been known to bake a batch of 50 scones for seniors.
Last year, Mr Simpson made a shock resignation from the local government, seniors, community services and youth portfolios, citing communication difficulties with the Premier’s office.
“I’ve been focusing on the election and more importantly reconnecting with the electorate,” Mr Simpson said of his time in Parliament since last September.
“There are 38 days left and parts of my electorate are quite diverse, from the fast-growing suburb of Byford to the rolling hills of Pickering Brook and Mundaring,” he told Comment News on Wednesday.
“There is no such thing as a safe seat. People have the chance to vote in March and hopefully will see what we’ve done.”
He doesn’t expect party leadership to change before the election and hoped people would take note of his own action in Darling Range instead.
Factors affecting the margin in Darling Range include redistribution, and a “high-tide” mark in 2013 due to the Rudd-Gillard factor that increased his lead.
The seat’s margin with boundary redistributions factored in is about 13.1 per cent.
Mr Simpson said he had not seen polling for his seat but |believed it to be so tight that the preferences deals with other candidate could determine who holds the seat come March 11.
He was aiming to discuss preferencing arrangements with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s Darling Range candidate Stuart Ostle, announced last week, and One Nation’s Sharon Polgar-Young.