Voting in the set of Page
There are 122,915 voters over 19,342sq km in the electorate of Page which is currently held by National Party member Kevin Hogan by a margin of 4.6 per cent.
Mr Hogan won the seat from sitting member Labor member Janelle Saffin in 2103 who is now the elected NSW lower house representative for the seat of Lismore, which is part of the Page electorate. Hogan’s margin has nearly halved since he was first elected in 2013.
The Page electorate has swung four time between the Nationals and Labor since the division was proclaimed at redistribution in 1984.
There is a sizeable cast of minor party candidates and independents standing in the seat this election, so preferences could well prove crucial as to who gets the seat. Patrick Deegan is the Labor candidate who hails from Casino and is considered the main challenger likely to unseat Hogan. However, there is also the so called ‘teal candidate’ Hanabeth Luke running on a platform of more science, integrity, affordable housing, support for our local industries and addressing climate disruption.
The electorate covers a range of coastal towns from the northern suburbs of Coffs Harbour, Iluka, Evans Head and Wardell inland to Lismore, Nimbin, Kyogle, Bonalbo, and Grafton giving it a definite diversity of voters from the alternative to highly conservative. Demographically, the seat offers something to both major parties. One one hand, the higher than average unemployment rate (7.9 per cent according to the last Census) and lower than average wages ($1,243/week for families) could lead to some disaffection with the current government.
On the other hand, the Nationals can still rely on a large conservative, rural voter base that could get them over the line once again.