FARRER is expected to become an even stronger Liberal heartland tonight with Sussan Ley’s margin tipped to return to 2004 levels of close to 20 per cent.
The electorate which borders three states is held by Ms Ley with a margin of 14.6 per cent after withstanding a mini rural backlash in 2010 to tighten her stranglehold on the seat.
Ms Ley’s biggest margin in Farrer was 19 per cent when she went to the polls for the first time as the sitting member.
She will be up against eight rivals today including Labor’s Gavin Hickey, but unlike four years ago she hasn’t had to contend with a well resourced independent candidate in the irrigation areas such as Deniliquin.
Louise Burge attracted 11 per cent of the total vote after campaigning hard on water issues at the height of the Murray Darling Basin Plan controversy.
Ms Ley is expected to win back a lot of the ground she lost around Deniliquin and Hay four years ago and will visit the area around lunchtime today.
Another key battleground in Farrer will be Broken Hill where Ms Ley took votes away from Labor in 2010.
She will cast her vote at Broken Hill this morning before finishing up in Albury where she will attend local booths including Glenroy Public School.
Ms Ley spent the last day of campaigning at Broken Hill where the abolition of the mining and carbon taxes and faster broadband are huge issues.
“I have never taken any election result for granted either locally or nationally,” she said.
“But I’m certainly hopeful today shows a strong and clear result for the Coalition, because that means people want to restore strong and sensible government in this country.”
Mr Hickey spent his final day of the election campaign in Albury.
“Albury stands to lose more than any other regional city in Australia if Labor loses,” he said.
“It would be losing out on high speed rail, optic fibre broadband being delivered to every house and business in the next term of government and nearly $500,000 of funding for the Lavington central business district upgrade.”
Mr Hickey will vote at Lavington Public School.