One-third of voters undecided
LABOR'S lead in Page might be comfortable, were it not for the nearly one-third of voters still working out who to vote for on August 21.
A survey by The Northern Star of 400 voters across the electorate has found 38 per cent of them saying they back local Labor MP Janelle Saffin.
That puts Ms Saffin a full eight points ahead of Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan's 30pc. However, another 32pc of the voters who took part in the survey have tagged themselves ‘undecided'.
That means the race for Page is still anyone's game – and Ms Saffin, Mr Hogan and Greens candidate Jeff Johnson were yesterday preparing to enter the final week of the campaign at full sprint as they tried to convince undecided voters.
As in the neighbouring electorate of Richmond, the large undecided vote seems at least partly connected to a broader malaise among voters dissatisfied with the performance of the major parties and with a Federal campaign dominated by personality issues between the two leaders.
“Personality is the issue for me – it (the campaign) is not about the issues,” one undecided voter taking part in the survey said.
“All the parties are full of rubbish,” said another.
The disillusionment extended to those who already had settled on a party. One Nationals voter summed up the mood neatly with the line: “Less talk, more action.”
Jeff Johnson, questioned the poll's measuring of Green votes (10pc), said he was getting a warm response in the community and the party as a whole was starting to get unprecedented traction on the national stage.
Mr Johnson said the party appeared to be getting more media attention on its policies than during previous election campaigns, and the Teachers Federation had recently recommended its members vote Green in recognition of the party's education policies.
Mr Hogan said the big group of undecided voters was promising because it suggested people were ‘standing back' and carefully considering who they should give their vote to on August 21.
Mr Hogan said voters were put off by divisions within a ‘very divisive, internally, and dysfunctional Labor Government'.
Ms Saffin said Labor had kept the economy safe during the global downturn, but urged voters to look at her own record of ‘getting things done'.
“To those still undecided I would point to my record of getting things done and getting funding for our area for roads, hospitals, community infrastructure, education and ending years of neglect under Federal National party representation,” she said.