Despite both Benambra and Ovens Valley being safe Coalition seats, this year’s Victorian election campaign has been conducted with a bit of extra heat in the North East.
The outcome of Saturday’s poll could either intensify or push back the calls for change we are hearing from sections of the Border.
Having Cathy McGowan as an independent in the federal seat of Indi has without doubt inspired others to be a similar representative in Benambra, Ovens Valley and Euroa.
Their supporters have pointed to the North East as being at the centre of a wave of change in politics.
It is not too hard for these supporters to be vocal and enthusiastic during an election campaign, but it will be the wider population who says how significant the push for an independent is for the Border.
If voting results in Bill Tilley, Tim McCurdy or Steph Ryan either being knocked out of their seats or having their winning margins slashed, then expect even more individuals with political ambition to start popping up in years to come.
It would also force the major parties to have a long, hard look at the way they do politics.
But if years of tradition remain and the Coalition candidates record another safe win, we can probably expect an “I told you so” from their supporters.
Only the compulsory votes of thousands of Border residents can give us the answer.
With a huge 9276 people in Benambra and 8690 in Ovens Valley having already voted early, it is likely we have seen most of what the candidates have to offer.
The last five days of the campaign will be spent trying to get through to not the vocal minority who made up their minds a long time ago, but the swinging voters who may not be as interested in politics.
We should all be prepared to see a lot of last-minute advertisements and volunteers in the street campaigning for votes.
If you have not made up your mind yet, the best thing to do is spend a small amount of time on research yourself and find the candidates who will best represent you.
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