Polls tighten as Election Day looms

National and local polls have shown a close race between the Liberal and Labor Parties heading into the Saturday 21 May Election Day. Picture: ON FILE

By Parker McKenzie

New polling has shown the national gap between the Labor and Liberal Party has narrowed as Election Day approaches, while the contest in Casey remains in the balance.

The Guardian Essential poll has Labor with a two-point lead over the incumbent Liberal Party, with 7 per cent of voters still undecided. According to the same pollster, Labor led the coalition by four points with 6 per cent undecided on Tuesday 3 May.

The Liberal and Labor Party should be wary of falling first preference voters, with 36 per cent choosing the Liberal Party and 35 per cent supporting Labor.

YouGov polling, commissioned by Newscorp and published on Wednesday May 11, showed a tight race in Casey, with Liberal Candidate Aaron Violi leading Labor’s Bill Brindle by just four points, 52-48.

Mr Violi said he wouldn’t make any predictions before Election Day on Saturday 21 May and has faith voters will make the best decision for Casey.

“It’s been an enjoyable experience for me as a lifetime local and it’s been humbling to run into and see people that I went to school with, people that I’ve played football with that I haven’t seen for a few years and family members or people that know my family,” he said.

“It’s a nice reminder of why I put my hand up and it’s been an enjoyable experience to engage with the community. I’m excited for Saturday and looking forward to finding out the results and seeing what happens from there.”

Mr Brindle said the six-week campaign has been tiring and a grind.

“They’re long days, they’re really early stops. I’m just hanging on at the fact we’re almost there,” he said.

“We were confident in 2016 and 2019, we’re just going to be reserved and take it a day at a time.”

The polling comes as the Australian Electoral Commission announced six million Australians had voted early or applied for mail-in ballots on 18 May.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the effect of the pandemic on staffing, venues and personal circumstances has led to more people voting early.

“If you’re busy on Saturday, vulnerable to Covid-19 or aren’t certain of circumstances then you need to plan an early vote,” he said.

“We have extended hours for some early voting centres as well, so if you need to go after work check the opening hours at aec.gov.au.”