THE lead up to the election, with Early Voting Centres opening on Monday this week, has been black and white in the neighbouring seats of Bass and Gippsland South.
Where the sitting member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, holds a whopping margin, with almost twice the votes of his nearest rival on a two-party preferred basis, the result in Bass is expected to be on a knife-edge.
We’ve seen it in the promises lavished on Bass, as compared to poor old Gippsland South and we’ve seen it again after nominations closed last Friday with only three people nominating for Gippsland South as opposed to a field of eight for Bass.
Mr O’Brien (Nationals) will face off against seasoned campaigner Ian Onley (Greens) and Denise Ryan (Labor) but is widely expected to win handsomely.
There are eight candidates for Bass (in ballot order): Brian Paynter (Lib), Clare Le Serve (Ind), Jordan Crugnale (Labor), Ross McPhee (DLP), Ronnie Bauer (Ind), Kate Lempriere (Ind), Frank Ripa (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Vic) and David Arnault (Greens).
Mr Paynter took the early advantage in the pre-poll when he drew the important first place on the ballot, especially in a relatively deep field, but Ms Crugnale has since recovered that advantage by securing a preference deal from Clare Le Serve, worth up to 10 per cent of the vote if the result in 2014 is anything to go by.