Early election vote poll dismissed

MACKILLOP candidates have dismissed the findings of a ReachTel poll that shows Liberal Nick McBride will overwhelmingly win the seat at the March 17 state election.

A poll of 615 residents across the MacKillop electorate found Mr McBride leading the primary vote with an overwhelming 56.7pc, followed by SA-Best candidate Tracy Hill (15.8pc), a Labor candidate (12.1pc), Australian Conservatives candidate Richard Bateman (5.1pc) and independent Jon Ey (2.8pc).

Almost 3pc of voters indicated they would first preference an “other/independent” candidate, while 2.3pc of respondents would vote Greens.

Of the 2.3pc of respondents who indicated they were undecided, more than half said they had a “slight leaning” towards Mr McBride.

Despite the strong numbers, the Liberal candidate said he was more concerned about delivering tangible results for MacKillop.

“I’m not interested in a poll, I’m just interested in working hard to deliver for the South East region,” Mr McBride said.

“I have already been able to secure a 10 year moratorium on fracking in the South East and the Penola Bypass upgrade if a Liberal Government is elected in March.

“I’ll keep working with the local community to ensure I can be part of a Liberal Government that will deliver for the South East.”

SA-Best candidate Tracy Hill said while the numbers were “obviously disappointing”, she did not believe they were an accurate reflection of the mood of the electorate.

“I do not think robo-calling is an accurate way of assessing people’s political leaning,” she said.

“I’ll take it with a grain of salt.

“Obviously as a candidate being announced on the January 7, I have not had time to make myself known as much as the other candidates.

“I have got my work cut out for me in the next three weeks.”

Australian Conservatives candidate Richard Bateman did not share in the scepticism, saying he was pleased with the poll results which were conducted just days after announcing his candidacy.

“To have gained 5.1pc of the vote on my first week out when most people had not even heard we had an Australian Conservatives candidate in the mix is a good result,” he said.

“Now there is another voice in the mix, and one that is offering sensible, principled policies rather than populous campaigning tactics, I hope those figures will increase.

“I think the electorate, as they get to hear what we have to offer will be very pleased.”

Independent candidate Jon Ey said he was confident he would be able to increase his primary ahead of March 17.

“Being an independent, it takes time to inform the electorate about what you stand for and what your policy positions are,” he said.

“I will continue to go about my business getting my message out there and fully expect the polls to improve dramatically as we get closer to election day.”

MacKillop is being vacated by long-serving member Mitch Williams and is currently held by a 26.7pc margin, making it the second safest Liberal seat in the state.

At the 2014 election, Mr Williams got a 5pc swing towards the Liberals, gaining 65.1pc of the primary vote.