GRIFFITH voters will head to the polls tomorrow for a federal election expected to see Riverina incumbent Michael McCormack swept back into power.
This year’s election campaign boasted a record field of 10 Riverina candidates but Mr McCormack, who holds the seat by a 18.2 per cent margin, was quietly confident of seeing the Coalition swing into power.
But an online poll of the region’s voters conducted by The Area News’ sister publication The Daily Advertiser found Country Labor was creeping in on the Nationals’ notoriously strong hold over the Riverina seat.
While Mr McCormack was in the lead at 37 per cent after nearly 500 votes, Country Labor candidate Tim Kurylowicz was close behind at 31 per cent, followed by the Democratic Labor Party’s Paul Funnell at 10 per cent and Palmer United’s Lex Stewart at 6.6 per cent.
Mr Kurylowicz, who has fought hard to loosen the Nationals’ three-decade strong grip on the Riverina since he joined the game earlier this year, was heartened by the results of the poll.
“I’d be overjoyed if we could eat away at the Nationals’ hold, I’d be really thrilled,” Mr Kurylowicz said.
“The Riverina would do better if it was a more marginal seat.”
The local campaign has been dominated by a desperate call for support for farmers - including breaking the supermarket duopoly - as well as debate around the NBN, education policy and greater infrastructure.
The electorate’s 10 candidates will back up a solid week spent at the pre-polls with a frenzied last-ditch grab for votes tomorrow.
Mr McCormack said he couldn’t be sure of the outcome but hoped to be working with a Coalition Government come next week.
Former Murrumbidgee independent candidate Tom Marriott, who ran at three consecutive state elections, also believed Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party stood little chance.
“I think it’s all over for Labor,” Mr Marriott said.
“It would have to be an unforseen miracle that would rescue them.
“I just hope Abbott turns out alright because we’ll have a weak opposition which is a bad place to be, because power corrupts.”
At a local level, Mr Marriott felt the Nationals safe seat would remain.
“They’ve tried their best to counter him (Mr McCormack) but he has too much experience,” he said.
“I hope the government does run smoothly after this for the sake of the country, the confidence has gone out the window.”
Where to vote
Polling booths across Griffith will be open from 8am to 6pm tomorrow
Griffith East Public School
Wade High School
Griffith North Public School
PCYC Griffith - Interstate Voting Centre
Griffith High School
Yoogali Public School
Lake Wyangan Public School
Beelbangera Public School
Hanwood Public School
Tharbogang Public School