Mark McGowan who? Mia Davies pulls an Election Day crowd
Mark McGowan might be popular with city slickers, but in the Central Wheatbelt it’s Mia Davies that attracts a crowd.
During a 10-town tour of her electorate WA Election Day, the 42-year-old was met with plenty of support from constituents.
She clocked up more than 420km visiting Corrigin, Bruce Rock, Merredin, Kellerberrin, Quairading, Brookton, Beverley, York, and Northam.
Quairading farmer and local WA Nationals branch president Helen Frazer summed up the election day mood at many polling booths.
“We have a strong contingent in Quairading, and people really love her,” she said.
Beverley farmer Keith Murray and retired farmer Mal Fleay were among the locals handing out how- to-vote cards for Ms Davies.
“I am sure Mia polled well here — you get the vibe people are very happy,” Mr Fleay said.
“Some people have said ‘That’s the one I want’, as they come in.
“We are pretty confident here.”
A WA Nationals voter his whole life, Mr Fleay said he knew a lot of people who had retired to the area who appeared to have changed their vote to Ms Davies.
“Over the years I have noticed they are looking for a ‘how-to-vote’ card from me,” he said.
Stepping into the Brookton polling booth when Ms Davies arrived were agricultural contractor Peter Wright and farm worker Frank Nazar.
Both quietly told Countryman they were voting WA Nationals — and always had — because they believed the party gave a much-needed voice to regional WA.
But just as in every seat, the popularity of Mr McGowan did sway some voters to Labor.
Kate Sofoulis — decked out in a red WA Labor shirt — said she had voted Labor for the first time since 2008, after voting for Ms Davies at the 2017 and 2013 elections.
Her husband Michael voted for Ms Davies but Ms Sofoulis joked the pair never argued about politics.
“The thing I love about elections is that it is democracy in action,” she said.
“Last time I voted for Mia, and I have changed my vote this time. I kept listening and waiting but I haven’t heard a lot of what she has said.”
Then there were voters like well-known Quairading farmer Greg Richards, who was handing out how-to-vote cards for the Liberals.
Less than an hour before the polls closed on Saturday, the lone Mia Davies supporter at the York Primary School polling booth was her brother-in-law Nick Sattler.
Mr Sattler, who is married to Ms Davies’ sister Emma, said he was extremely proud of how hard she had worked.
“I am very proud of her, she is amazing,” he said.
“We are all hoping she will keep her seat.”
Another of Ms Davies’ biggest supporters out in the electorate on Saturday was her campaign manager, Rob Tinetti.
He said the number of people she had volunteering to support her showed just how loved she was.
“It goes to show that so many people believe in Mia and what she is doing for regional WA,” he said.
“People love to support Mia and we all believe in the cause. They all know Mia is a very hard worker.
“A lot of them have a high opinion of the McGowan Government, but they recognise that Mia is a hard-working pollie. She has done a lot for people in the regions.”
Ms Davies told Countryman while it had certainly been a lot quieter at polling booths after many people voted early, she had still received great support.
“It has been a busy day, a lot of driving,” she said. “There has been good support for the Nationals and for myself wherever we have been.
“It is nice, every four years, to get that endorsement that the work that you put in is worthwhile and they have your back.
“I am in the hands of the voters of the Central Wheatbelt.”
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