The atmosphere at the polls was varied. Excited campaign volunteers were braving the cold to hand out party pamphlets, the ladies manning the barbeque were discussing why the sausage sizzle is the best part of elections and voters were piling in to join a queue that only snaked longer as the day progressed. There was also the occasional heckler who yelled, “You’re all crooks”. Welcome to Election Day 2016.
Independent candidate Ammar Khan waited outside Plumpton Public School with his VMS board to greet voters and get a sense of the environment.
“No matter what people say about the polls or what is predicted, what the right thing is will just happen,” he said. “If I’m going to get in, it will be a miracle. It might take me three goes, so be it. Five goes, I’ve got the time ahead of me.”
One of the youngest electorates in the state and historically a safe Labor seat, this election a number of smaller parties have marked their presence in young voters with alternative policies.
“I’m really passionate about climate change and animals, and Medicare,” said Irene Burnie, volunteer for the Greens. “I think it’s important for young people to give their opinion on what they want, what they need, what they’d like their future to be, where they see the world.”
However the majority of volunteers still don the crimson of Ed Husic’s solid Labor campaign.
“Labor policies are supported by most of the working class, that’s why we are very confident we will be back in power,” said voter Prabhjot Sandhu. “Medicare is the biggest issue and everyone needs it. If they start cutting it, at the end of the day it’s going to be gone.”
While the voters' ideologies vary, one thing is clear. People are voting for issues, not people. Voters like John Lopez are looking for an alternative to the two major parties.
“We need a third party in the system so it’s more democratic”.
Others like Lauraine are just here for the sausage sizzle.
“There’s been too much politics, I’m not interested in any of them but I’ve still got to vote for one. I don’t really care who wins to tell you the truth,” she said.