Thousands of Western Australians are flocking to polling booths today, from the electorate of Durack in the north to the electorates of Forrest and O’Connor in the south.
More than one and a half million electors are enrolled to vote across the state with 672 polling booths operating throughout the day.
There is more at stake in WA this year with the newly created electorate of Burt making its first appearance. The electorate of Burt is established in Perth’s growing southern corridor, formed from the seats of Tangney, Hasluck and Canning.
Based on 2013 results, the seat is notionally Liberal with a margin of 6.1% on the two-party preferred basis. However, opinion polls conducted believe a swing towards Labor is very much a live possibility and one of the seats to watch.
Another seat that has been under the spotlight in WA is the seat of Cowan.
The bellweather seat has been held by Liberal’s Luke Simpkins, but a recent redistribution of its boundaries has trimmed the margin to just 4.4%, with counterterrorism expert and Labor candidate Anne Aly putting in a lot of hours throughout the campaign.
Aly has been the centre of controversy in the last couple of weeks with Justice Minister and Stirling MHR Michael Keenan suggesting the deradicalisation expert had intervened in the criminal hearing of radical Islamists.
It remains to be seen whether the claims by Keenan will influence electors behaviours in Cowan.
In the electorate of Swan, it was a quiet start for electors at the St Pius X Parish Hall despite a long waiting queue.
Electors didn’t seem to be too fussed with the waiting line let alone who wants who to govern the country.
However, one elector in the line was over heard saying “lets just hope whoever’s in charge lasts longer than anyone since the Rudd days”.
In the electorate of Tangney in Perth’s southern suburbs, there was a very substantial Liberal presence at both Melville and Booragoon Primary Schools.
A couple of Liberal volunteers supporting candidate Ben Morton said they were “supremely confident” the Tangney voters will vote Morton into Parliament for the first time.
Morton is contesting Tangney for the first time after winning preselection over incumbent Dr Dennis Jensen, who is running as an independent at this election.
Jensen has campaigned strongly throughout the election despite losing his preselection battle. Lots of posters and letters have been distributed throughout the electorate over the last couple of months.
Fremantle, one of only three Labor-held seats in WA, has seen a major push against Coalition-enforced policies throughout the morning, with Labor candidates and electors making their presence know.
Labor volunteers at Palmyra Primary School displayed large banners with the “Save Medicare” slogan of them in an effort to encourage electors to think carefully.
Another noticeable banner on the fence of the schools is a banner saying “Only Labor can stop Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link”.
Both projects run through the Fremantle electorate after being pushed strongly by the state and federal Liberal teams.
Electors at Palmyra Primary School showed their disapproval, with one person saying the value of their home will “significantly decrease” because construction of the Roe 8 will be done close to their property.
Another Labor held seat in WA is Perth, where Lawyer turned ALP candidate Tim Hammond is doing battle with Liberal contestant Jeremy Quinn.
One of the strangest appearances here in WA was a dog dressed in a red Labor sweater promoting support for Hammond with a volunteer holding it on a leash.
However it wasn’t all easy sailing for voters in Perth, with electors at Beaufort Park in Bedford lining up beyond the polling booths onto the main oval and at one stage into the car park.
The wait time wasn’t the only disappointing thing for the electors. There were also unconfirmed reports that North Perth Primary School in the Perth electorate had run out of sausages to fulfil the cravings of the voters.
In the blue-ribbon seat of Curtin in Perth’s western suburbs, Foreign Minister and local member Julie Bishop was out and about in the local area.
Bishop volunteered on the barbeque at Freshwater Bay and Swanbourne Primary Schools, turning the sausages over as well as getting involved in the bake sale along with Western Australian Senator Michaelia Cash.
However some of the elderly Curtin residents left Freshwater Bay PS during the morning due to another lengthy line extending beyond the premises.
One Liberal volunteer said some of the elderly electors were complaining they weren’t allowed to go to the front of the queue to cast their vote, causing a few headaches.
The electorate of Forrest in the state’s south-west has also been busy this morning, with indications of booth attendance reaching record numbers across the town of Busselton this morning.
In Durack in the states north, there were more Liberals and Nationals posters and banners on display at polling stations compared to posters from the other parties.
At the Kununarra Leisure Centre, many were relaxed and lined up in anticipation of 31 degree heat, as the Liberals’ Melissa Price seeks to win a second term as the member for Durack.
For more information on each WA electorate, visit http://www.unipollwatch.org.au/electorates/.