Federal election: Pearce voters head to the polls

With voters set to take to the polls on the weekend, eyes around the state will be cast upon the seat of Pearce, amid nation-wide headlines labeling the Avon Valley's federal MP Christian Porter "the underdog".

The Liberal MP's main rival lies in former police officer and Labor candidate Kim Travers, with polling showing Mr Porter's hold on the seat is dwindling.

The incumbent has been campaigning around the electorate in recent months, attending the opening of the $3.7 million Beverley Cornerstone Community Centre and the AgriStart Connect Innovation Hub in Northam.

In the lead-up to the election, Mr Porter has awarded funds to various projects and groups, with $90,000 in funding to improve facilities at the Bakers Hill Recreation Centre and $350,000 to develop the York Skate Park at the Avon Foreshore.

Mental health services have been promised by both sides of politics, with the Liberal candidate announcing a $1.5 million satellite headspace centre for Northam if elected, followed by Labor rival Ms Travers announcing a $3 million centre will be established if she is successful.

Polling for Seven West Media, published last Sunday, shows the primary vote for the Liberal party has slumped in Pearce compared to the 2016 federal election.

Mr Porter, who holds Pearce with a margin of 3.7 per cent, is losing votes to One Nation on 5 per cent of the primary vote.

On a two-party preferred basis the Liberal Party's support has dropped from 53.6 per cent to 51 per cent.

The survey of 525 people was conducted by YouGov Galaxy on the evening of May 1, after both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had campaigned in Perth and held a leaders' debate.

Mr Porter has been quick to state the feats he has achieved since winning the seat, while the attorney general has also stated his advocacy played a role in WA's improved GST quota.

Ms Travers is expected to be a strong contender after being endorsed as Labor's candidate for the seat.

Raised by her grandparents in the country town of Merredin, she has claimed to have a strong connection to the electorate and a passion for regional education and health services

The Greens have announced their candidate as teacher Eugene Marshall. Mr Marshall has vocalised rising power bills and a lack of financial support to the education sector as issues worth campaigning for.

He has offered himself as an alternative to the major parties, which he claims have "created an economy that only works for corporations, instead of doing what's best for our community".

The Nationals have put forward Steve Blyth as their candidate. Mr Blyth has labelled himself as community focused and "not a career politician".

He has also touted his work on various environmental and education boards as giving him experience to deal with the health system and crime-related issues.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation party are also taking a punt in Pearce, after appointing Sandra (Sandy) Old as their candidate. Ms Old grew up in the eastern Wheatbelt and has five children and six grandchildren. Having worked in worked in small business for over 35 years, Ms Old labelled one of her focuses as cutting red tape slugging companies, stating that "government is making it harder and harder to do business".

On March 1, Clive Palmer's United Australia Party endorsed nine WA candidates, which included Robert Forster.

A former East Ward councillor for the Shire of Mundaring, Mr Forster has belonged to multiple local organisations and committees including recreational committees and a ratepayers association.

Australian Christians have endorsed physiotherapist Magdaleen Strauss. Ms Strauss has been living in the Pearce region for the past eight years and said she understood the area's challenges regarding schooling, development, growth and healthcare.

The Australia People's Party have selected surveyor and small business owner Stephen Piper as its candidate. Mr Piper has expressed concerns over "the steady influx of migrants and the pressure it has caused on our schools, hospitals and public services".

Polls around the region will be open from 8am on Saturday before the votes are counted from 6pm.

From Northam to Toodyay to York, no matter your weekend plans there will be somewhere for you to fill out your ballot form.

See below for voting stations in the region:


Northam Memorial Hall

263 Fitzgerald Street, Northam

8am to 6pm

Northam Primary School

Duke Street E, Northam

8am to 6pm

Bakers Hill

Bakers Hill Primary School

33 St George Street, Bakers Hill

8am to 6pm


Beverley District High School

20 John Street, Beverley

8am to 6pm

Grass Valley

Grass Valley Hall

Corner Wilson and George Street, Grass Valley

8am to 6pm


Toodyay Memorial Hall

117 Stirling Terrace, Toodyay

8am to 6pm


Wundowie Primary School

276 Boronia Avenue, Wundowie

8am to 6pm


York District High School

2 Trews Road, York

8am to 6pm

If you want to avoid the queues on election day you can cast your votes early in Northam.

The Northam Town Hall, on Wellington Street is the hub for early voting in the electorate.

Assisted wheelchair access is available at the facility.

Opening times for the Northam Town Hall polling station:

Wednesday, May 15 - 8.30am to 6pm.

Thursday, May 16 - 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Friday, May 17 - 8.30am to 6pm.

Visit the AEC website to find out more on voting in the election: www.aec.gov.au.