Strong turnout as pre-polling opens
THERE’S been a strong turnout since pre-polling opened this week for the Federal seat of Richmond, said divisional returning officer Vicki Kapernick.
So far more than 550 people have voted since the doors opened on the first pre-poll voting booth at 7/75-77 Wharf St, Tweed Heads on Tuesday.
Murwillumbah pre-polling opens on June 25 at 6 Wharf St.
It comes as the six candidates contesting the seat in Richmond reveal where they will allocate their preferences after the official poll on July 2.
Labor incumbent Justine Elliot will again preference The Greens, followed by the Animal Justice Party, the Christian Democrats Party, the Nationals and One Nation.
The Nationals Matthew Fraser has placed his chief rival Ms Elliot number three on his ticket above the Greens, One Nation and the Animal Justice Party.
It is part of a Liberal Party strategy to place the Greens below Labor in every seat it contests.
"This is a decision I've made in the national interest," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said this week.
"The big risk in this election is that we would end up with an unstable, chaotic, Labor-Greens minority Government as we've seen before."
Mr Fraser’s first preferences will go to the Christian Democrats.
Dawn Walker for the Greens said the party wanted to encourage voters to make their own decision on where they send their preferences.
“We provide a how to vote card which is simply our recommendation based on which parties are most aligned with Greens policies,” she said.
“Here in Richmond we have preferenced Labor above the conservative parties like the Nationals and One Nation and we have preferenced the Animal Justice Party above Labor.”
Greens preferences played a crucial role in Ms Elliot’s return to office in 2013 in which she attracted 33.5% of the primary vote in contrast to the Nationals’ 37.6%.
The Animal Justice Party, whose candidate is lawyer Angela Pollard, will be allocating their preferences in this order: The Greens, Labor, Nationals, Christian Democrats and One Nation.
Neil Smith from One Nation is preferencing the Christian Democrats followed by the Animal Justice Party, the Nationals, Labor and the Greens.