Ballina vote will come down to the wire, says outgoing MP
RETIRING Ballina MP Don Page has predicted his ex-seat will go down to the wire.
Speaking alongside his hoped-for successor Kris Beavis from Lennox Head Public School shortly after the pair cast their votes together, Mr Page said Ballina was a marginal seat and the Nationals were not expecting to cruise to victory.
Mr Page said he had been fortunate to always gain absolute majorities while he was in the seat, but this year could be different.
"There's no guarantees on this seat… I think tonight is going to be very close... this is a tight contest."
Giving full backing to his successor, Mr Page said Mr Beavis had the mental fortitude and proven track record to deliver for Ballina.
"I'm confident if he gets over the line, he will be a very good local member."
Kris Beavis painted the election as a "referendum on good government".
He declared he was prepared to get a bloody nose to win a fight for his electorate in Sydney.
And he said the Labor and Greens campaign had been "built on a lie" because coal-seam gas was never going to touch the Ballina electorate thanks to the Nationals.
He said most people didn't like CSG but he hoped the majority were also prepared to acknowledge the Nationals were doing something constructive about it.
"We shouldn't muck around with our water table… or DNA is to support farming… we get it."
Also speaking from Lennox Head, Ballina Greens candidate Tamara Smith said her supporters had been very well received by voters during the pre-poll period across the electorate, and early indications were of positive results for the Greens in Suffolk Park and Ocean Shores.
It was most certainly a three-horse race, she said, and was confident the result wouldn't be known by this evening.
Meanwhile in Lismore, internal Labor polling leaked to the Daily Telegraph has predicted Greens candidate Adam Guise will win in an historic upset - it would be the first seat to switch directly from the Nationals to the Greens.
If the Nationals do not get a clear majority in either Ballina or Lismore, preference deals could favour either a Labor or Greens candidate prevailing.
Polling booths have not been overly busy today with a record number of pre-poll votes thought to be the main factor in reducing the usually long queues.