Federal Election 2019: Brand gets ready to vote

Staff ReporterSound Telegraph
Australians will go to the polls on May 18. Stock image
Camera IconAustralians will go to the polls on May 18. Stock image

After weeks of speculation and political posturing, Australians finally know when they will head to the polls after Prime Minister Scott Morrison last Thursday called a Federal election for Saturday, May 18.

The cities of Kwinana and Rockingham, including Garden Island, are within the Division of Brand, a 377sqkm seat named after Sir David Brand, WA’s longest-serving Premier.

At the 2016 Federal election, political newcomer Madeleine King retained the seat for the Australian Labor Party after the resignation of previous member Gary Gray.

Ms King, in her first election, enjoyed a 7.72 per cent swing towards the ALP on a two candidate preferred basis.

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She polled 38,803 first preference votes of the 81,718 eligible votes cast, or 47.48 per cent, ahead of Liberal Party candidate Craig Buchanan on 25,843; this was the highest percentage of first preference votes in Brand since Kim Beazley collected 51.71 per cent at the 2001 Federal election.

After preferences, Ms King’s margin ballooned out to 50,202 votes, or 61.43 per cent of the vote.

Voter turnout in Brand in 2016 was 85,320, or 87.04 per cent, with 3602 informal votes.

Brand is widely viewed as one of the ALP’s safest seats, with the party having held it since its creation in 1984.

The seat previously included parts of Mandurah and originally extended as far south as Collie. It has become a more Labor-leaning seat since boundaries were redrawn and Mandurah was added completely to Canning.

The Division of Brand.
Camera IconThe Division of Brand. Credit: Australian Electoral Commission

At the 2016 Federal election, Wandi was the only suburb in the seat where the Liberal Party received more votes than the ALP; 56.2 per cent of the 980 votes went to Craig Buchanan.

Incumbent Ms King will face opposition on the ballot from declared candidates Jack Pleiter (Liberal), Jody Freeman (The Greens), Travis Carter (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) and Janine Vander Ven (Australian Christians).

Of the challengers, Ms Vander Ven and Ms Freeman have previous experience, having run as the Australian Christians candidate for Canning at the 2016 Federal election and The Greens candidate for Kwinana at the 2017 State election respectively.

Nominations for candidates are open until Tuesday, April 23.

The Australian Electoral Commission will provide a final list of candidates on Wednesday, April 24.

According to readers of the Sound Telegraph, the major issues at this election are climate action, labour hire laws, the erosion of wages and conditions, and where to find the best sausage sizzle on election day.

If you are an Australian citizen aged 18 or older, you are required to vote in the Federal election and must be correctly enrolled by 8pm on Thursday, April 18.

Visit the AEC website at aec.gov.au or call 13 23 26 for all enrolment inquiries.

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