THERE are seven candidates, including four independents, running to replace former premier Colin Barnett in the Cottesloe by-election after nominations closed for the March 17 poll at noon today.
“We anticipate there will be a lot of people going to our Eric Street shopping centre polling booth in Cottesloe for early voting,” WA Electoral Commission (WAEC) returning officer David Payne said.
There was an audible groan among a group of about 20 members of the public and candidates at the Cottesloe Civic Centre this afternoon when a draw for positions on the ballot put Liberal Party candidate David Honey at the top.
The position may give Mr Honey an advantage to combat any by-election swing against his party in the blue-ribbon seat made vacant by Mr Barnett’s retirement last month.
Other parties running comprise Micro Business Party candidate Cam Tinley, a former member of the Liberals who is second on the ballot paper, fourth-placed former Mosman Park mayor and WA Party candidate Ron Norris and the Green’s Greg Boland, who is fifth.
The Labor Party is not running a candidate.
The independents are third-placed on the ballot Michael Thomas, Cottesloe councillor Michael Tucak, sixth, and seventh-placed Dimitry Malov.
Mr Payne said ballot papers would be printed this afternoon, before their distribution to the pre-polling places, the eastern states and New Zealand.
The WAEC lists 27,331 voters, up 337 since the 2017 State Election, in the costal electorate previously held by Mr Barnett.
Early voting starts on February 28, and a public forum to meet the candidates, hosted by former mayor John Hammond, will be held at the Cottesloe Civic Centre, Broome Street, Cottesloe at 7pm on March 7.