O’Connor among safest seats in nation

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Australians go to the ballot on Saturday.
Camera IconAustralians go to the ballot on Saturday. Credit: Getty Images

Around 100,000 voters from across O’Connor are set to head to the polls on Saturday, with a major swing required for sitting MP Rick Wilson to be defeated.

Mr Wilson heads into the vote as the representative of one of Australia’s most socially conservative seats, according to ABC’s Vote Compass..

Only one blip, a Nationals Party win in 2010, ended a 30-year run of Liberal leadership in the seat, which was recovered through a narrow win by Mr Wilson in 2013.

This time around, any of Mr Wilson’s rivals would need to build a 15 per cent swing against him to win a seat in Parliament.

Figures from 2016 suggest Mr Wilson should find plenty of support in Albany, where he won a majority of votes at every polling place last time around in the two-party-preferred vote.

Middleton Beach, Mr Wilson’s Albany home, recorded the highest Liberal vote in Albany last time around, where 69 per cent of voters backed him over his Labor rival in the two-party preferred vote.

Even higher were his statistics in Kalgan, where nearly 74 per cent of voters backed him.

However, depending on how people preference their ballots, the contest could be closer this time around in places like Denmark, where he secured only 52 per cent of the two-party vote in 2016.

In the highly conservative areas of Katanning, Wagin and Lake Grace, Nationals candidate John Hassell, who has been campaigning for more than a year, will be hoping to recover votes for his party after it suffered a 5 per cent swing against it in 2016.

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