Counting down to by-election in Perth: Maylands residents unsure about vote

Simon Stevens.
Lauren Mitchell.
Darren Martin.
Lisa Young.
Simon Stevens. Lauren Mitchell. Darren Martin. Lisa Young.

SOME voters need a reminder that a by-election for the federal seat of Perth is on this Saturday – if an unscientific poll of 12 in the electorate’s Maylands shopping strip is any indication.

“I didn’t have a clue it was on. We’ve been really busy. I guess my wife will decide for me,” Bayswater resident Darren Martin said.

The four voters who needed reminding to vote could be excused, given it’s been 12 weeks since former Perth MHR and Labor highflyer Tim Hammond resigned from the marginally safe seat to be a better dad, and the seat joined the Super Saturday of five polls caused by four other Federal MPs leaving because of the dual citizenship saga.

The Liberals decided not to run in Perth, despite getting 43.7 per cent of the primary vote at the 2016 Federal Election, and the Greens stand as the second horse in this race after a 17.1 per cent primary vote two years ago.

”I’m going to vote green because they are compassionate, honest and have integrity,” Maylands resident Simon Stevens said.

Labor’s candidate is Patrick Gorman, a backroom adviser and architect of State Labor’s thumping win in WA in 2017 .

By-elections are notorious for protest votes, and voters who mentioned Labor included “Bob from Maylands” – who with a Scot’s flair for adjectives had an unpublishable comment on that party – and Maylands resident Lisa Young.

Ms Young switched her comment to back the Greens because “someone has to stand up for our planet and the community”.

The ballot paper will have 15 candidates, including those representing issues such as WA’s GST share, animal rights, science, mental health and Christianity.

Some voters’ answers indicated many have still to make up their minds about the wide field.

“I haven’t had a good look at the candidates yet. I know there has been a lot of information around, but it’s crept up really quickly,” Maylands’ Lauren Mitchell said.

Polling booths listed at www.aec.gov.au are open from 8am until 6pm.