Elections in the Ballina electorate have been so close in the past that the preferences have often determined outcomes in the Legislative Assembly, or lower house.
While a local candidate will be elected to represent Ballina in the Legislative Assembly on March 23, voters will also select MPs for the Legislative Council, or upper house. The Legislative Council is known as the senate, or house of review, and does not represent a specific electorate and instead the entire state.
While a single vote for a lower house candidate will be exhausted or wasted if your first choice was not successful, the situation in the upper house is different. In the upper house, a single vote ‘above the line’ for your first choice party will then be automatically allocated by the party to the entire group of candidates in the order they are listed below that square.
The Echo asked the six candidates for the upcoming state election on March 23 where their preferences will go in the Legislative Assembly if their vote is exhausted.
The Nationals’ Ben Franklin says there are no preferences for his ticket, meaning no other party would benefit from his votes should he not win.
For the Legislative Assembly, Labor’s Asren Pugh has preferenced the Greens, then the Animal Justice Party, Keep Sydney Open, Sustainable Australia and the Nationals last.
The Greens’ Tamara Smith have preferenced – for the Legislative Assembly – Labor, then Animal Justice Party, Keep Sydney Open, Sustainable Australia and then the Nationals last.
Keep Sydney Open have preferenced the Greens, while Sustainable Australia have not preferenced any party.