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  • Tamworth a two-horse race but 1 in 3 undecided

    2018 - 07.05

    THE battle for the seat of Tamworth appears too close to call, after a survey revealed more than one-in-three voters remain undecided, just two days out from the election.

    POPULAR CHOICE: Many Tamworth electors have been casting their votes at the pre-poll centre in Darling St – but many are still undecided about who will get their vote. Photo: Barry Smith 230315BSE03

    The Leader polled 100 enrolled voters, selected at random from the phonebook, to ask which of the seven candidates would be getting their endorsement on Saturday.

    Incumbent Nationals MP Kevin Anderson received 33 votes, ahead of independent and former member Peter Draper on 31, and Country Labor’s Joe Hillard on one.

    But, despite an avalanche of electioneering from the candidates, 35 respondents said they still remained undecided about where their vote would go on polling day.

    Mr Anderson, who is seeking a second term, said he would continue campaigning his hardest right up until the polls closed at 6pm on Saturday.

    “I think that we always said it was going to be tight, and we know that there will be a lot of people who are yet to make up their minds,” he said.

    “My job is to try to get the message out as much as I can that I have a strong plan for the Tamworthelectorate.”

    Mr Draper, who served as the member for Tamworth from 2003 until his loss to Mr Anderson at the 2011 election, said he was not surprised at the result.

    “There are a lot of people who don’t make their mind up until the day, and the pre-poll is showing that it’s pretty even down here,” he said.

    “It’ll be interesting on the day, just to see what happens. I’m really not surprised (by the number of undecided voters) at all.”

    Mr Anderson said issues such as hospitals, police, education, roads and mining were at the forefront of people’s minds in the Tamworth electorate.

    “We do have the best plan,” he said.

    “We haven’t heard anything from the other side yet about what they’re going to do.”

    Mr Draper was philosophical about his chances on Saturday, saying he had “never been confident” he would win back the seat.

    “But what I am confident of is I’ve done a good thing by creating interest in the local community and getting Kevin to actually do some work for a change,” he said. “We’ll see what happens on the day.”

    The candidates for the seat of Tamworth are: Kevin Anderson (Nationals), Peter Draper (independent), Stan Heuston (Party Reform), Joe Hillard (Country Labor), Richard Nock (No Land Tax), Michelle Ryan (Christian Democrat Party) and Pat Schultz (Greens).

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