Knife’s edge as early voters head to polls

22 February, 2017

Independent strategic advisory firm GRA Everingham Managing Director Jason Marocchi says the election is too close to call this far out from election day.

With early voting starting on Monday, Marocchi says the most important part of the campaign is yet to come.

“I actually think a lot of voters are not actually switched on yet and probably won’t be switching on until the last couple of weeks so that’s what makes this stage of the campaign that we’re entering right now crucial for all of the parties,” he says.

“It’s difficult to predict elections this far out but all the indicators point to Labor being in front at the moment, so it’s their election to lose.

“The Government has a bit of work to do in clawing that back but I think if things go well they can just get over the line.

“The best case scenario I think for the Government would have to be them being returned by a seat, obviously with the support of the Nationals.”

Marocchi says the business vote is important to both parties and urged them to analyse the offerings from both major parties.  

“Business should always have a significant interest in state election campaigns because business predominantly is the group that pays the majority, if not all of the taxes.

“Governments raise revenue from business at the State level predominantly, and it’s an important constituency that all parties listen to.

“When you have an election campaign in difficult economic circumstances, like the State finds itself in, the business community needs to strongly advocate for policies which promote economic growth and can provide jobs to the people of WA.”

In the end, he predicts, the key issue will come down to employment.

“People are concerned about jobs, whether it be their own job or their child, who may be going through university or still at school.

“Secure full-time employment is probably top of mind for a lot of voters along with the other issues of crime, health and education, but I think jobs and cost of living are probably right up there at this election. The way the parties are framing their campaigns reflects that.”

Cannings Purple Associate Director Astrid Serventy agrees the election is too close call and is not persuaded by the ReachTEL poll in the West Australian on the weekend, which showed a two-party result of 50-50, compared with previous polls which had Labor in front by 52-48. 

“I do think it will be a close election.”

“I think the campaign has been pretty safe by both parties.”