The Eurobodalla polling booths had a good turnout today with a steady stream of early voters 'running the gauntlet' of loyal candidate supporters keen to offer a How to Vote flyer. Batemans Bay had a solid representation of Labor supporters accompanied by members of the Nurses and Midwives. Unsurprisingly, from those who were happy to take a few questions, one of the key areas of voter enquiry was around health, the cost of living and aged care. "We need a Federal member who has experience. Fiona Phillips has that experience in Federal Parliament. Constance lacks any vibrancy. Its the same old sad Vote for Me face of self entitlement. The voters aren't being suckered in" said one of the supporters for the Greens adding "Vote one for the Greens and put Labor second. And Vote One for the Greens in the Senate !". It was clear in both Batemans Bay and Narooma that the older voters seemed to be drawn to the familiar line of perms and moleskins while the younger (>65) voters chose to engage with the Labor and Green supporters who were primarily younger and possibly more representative of the new demographic that is challenging the idea that the South East is "God's waiting room." On the subject of God it was interesting that voters were of the opinion that religion and politics should not mix and that the Prime Minister appeared more to be a Minister behind a pulpit pontificating over issues such as transgender rights and religious freedoms in schools rather than focusing on the real issue of cost of living, soaring electricity bills and the threat of climate change. When asked about ScottMorrison Version 2.0 and his reference to being a bulldozer the general response was one of humour and the comments that "he really meant to say Bullshitter rather than Bulldozer". One of the take homes in Batemans Bay was the negative response given to Andrew Constance. Many said that the candidate appeared to be fixated in the north of the electorate and had failed to engage with the electorate south of Ulladulla, possibly driven by a belief that he had the vote of southern region by way of his being a NSW Minister. This might just backfire on the Gilmore Liberal candidate as he is wearing the negative burden of his tenure as Minister for Transport, his early resignation from State Government, his aborted intention to stand in Eden Monaro. The candidate is also receiving a considerable negative response to his leaders failures with the economy, Covid, women and most of all rorts where he refuses to consider a Federal ICAC. "It is very odd that he has not mentioned Scott Morrison in any of his Meet the Candidate forums. It is as if he want's to distance himself from the Prime Minister", was one comment that received the nod of agreement of those standing nearby. The same sentiment was being given to the Liberal Candidate in Eden Monaro who has failed to show his face on the South Coast during the campaign with most voters spoken to today saying "jerry who?" The backlash against the Liberals has extended even further with their preferencing of Clive Palmer's UAP second and the "ghost" One Nation candidate above most of the others. As pre-polling continues in the week ahead and postal votes are lodged it is looking to be an interesting Election Day next Saturday. Keep an eye out for a wandering flashmob of ukelele players offering their rendition of "April sun in Cuba" coming to a democracy sausage stand near you.
Above: a splash of Green adding to the glorious Autumn day in Batemans Bay that brought out a steady line of prepoll voters.
Above: The Federal Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips was with NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association volunteers earlier in the week to chat with people at Batemans Bay early voting centre.