News State Western Australia News Keys to Canning: jobs and crime
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Keys to Canning: jobs and crime

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Voters in the Canning by-election are citing local candidates and issues, along with traditional allegiances, as decisive factors before casting their ballots.

The electorate has been the target of a campaign blitz in the past four weeks, with high-profile visits from Tony Abbott, while still prime minister, deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

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Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie and Labor’s nominee, Matt Keogh, have campaigned hard on issues including road infrastructure, employment, crime and ice, and that has apparently resonated with voters.

“I’ll be thinking about more jobs coming in,” said Helena, arriving at the Kelmscott polling station.

“We need a police station which should be 24 hours,” said George.

“Not part time police for the area we’ve got here.”

But others were more interested in what was happening federally.

“I’ve listened to them all, I’ve listened to their speeches,” said Carol, “but it’s what’s at the top that really matters.”

Neither Mr Hastie nor Mr Keogh are able to vote in the election, having moved into the electorate too late to enrol.

However, Mr Keogh watched as his extended family cast their vote at the Kelmscott Senior High School booth, where he cast his first vote as an 18-year-old.

“It’s been a great campaign. It’s going to be a good fight and we’re looking forward to seeing what the result is at the end of the day,” he said.

“A good result would be winning. And that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Premier Colin Barnett confident of Liberal win

WA Premier Colin Barnett hit the hustings in Kelmscott in order to help the Liberal Party shore up support.

WA Premier Colin Barnett mingles with booth volunteers in Kelmscott as voting begins in Canning by-election
WA Premier Colin Barnett mingles with volunteers in Kelmscott. (ABC News: Andrew O’Connor)

Mr Barnett was confident the change of federal leadership would draw voters back to the Liberal Party.

“The Liberal Party and I are quietly confident that we will win this election,” said Mr Barnett.

But the Premier conceded both major parties had quality candidates.

“One encouraging thing from this campaign is that there are two good candidates giving a real choice to the people of Canning,” he said.

Greens hope for 10 per cent

Greens candidate Vanessa Rauland spoke with voters at Halls Head Primary School in Mandurah.

“Having a good day so far talking to a lot of people. It’s been quite positive,” she said.

Ms Rauland said she hoped to win 10 per cent of the vote for the Greens.

“If we can better than we did last time [7.4 per cent in 2013], that would be great. Obviously we’re always trying to increase the Green vote so if we can get up around 10 per cent it would be really wonderful,” she said.

“But we’ll just have to see how we go.

“I think it is doable. There’s a lot of people out there who are quite unhappy with the way politics is going at the moment.

“I think they’re very hurt by a lot of the policies. Even with the switch in leadership, I think they’re still aware it’s still the same old policies.

“I think they’re just sick of internal party politics and infighting. I think they’re wanting another option and an alternative voice. So I hope I can be that.”aving a good day so far talking to a lot of people. It’s been quite positive,” she said.

Polls close at 6:00pm today.