Solo acts, ensemble coat-tails trumpet tune of Page
DO WE stick with our sitting member who has shown he puts common sense and community ahead of political games, or vote for change?
On a national level, we're surely looking at inaugurating our 31st Prime Minister. At risk of sounding morbid, Bob Hawke's final salute will trump any last-minute antics by today's mortal souls. If there was any prior doubt, the sentimental vote will give Bill Shorten the gentle prod he needs to get over the line.
It's taken every bit of the past six years for me to get used to Mr Shorten as 'leadership material', but he has stepped up his game and Scott Morrison has offered little. Politics would be less stuffy without Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton, and Liberals missed a trick when they ignored Julia Bishop during the leadership coup.
But naval-watching ideology, political point-scoring and one-upmanship can get on the nose, and it's been rife in Page with finger pointing and tenuous accusations from the Labor corner designed to smear. Candidate Patrick Deegan's dirty work has been done for him by the big players from the top end of town, sticking his neck out from time to time from behind their coat-tails.
Meanwhile, Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan has kept his coat clean, played by the rules and said 'vote for me'.
Sadly, the fact Mr Hogan chose not to play the dirty game - both in August when he crossed the floor and now in May - could cost him his political career.
After all, while Mr Deegan has banked on his high-profile visitors who stepped off the big red bus, Nationals leader Michael McCormack has left Mr Hogan out to dry.
Hogan leads latest poll
An earlier Daily Examiner poll fell victim to being hijacked by party supporters who voted multiple times in an attempt to manipulate public perception, and resulted in United Australia Party John Mudge leading the count with 53 per cent and Mr Deegan 40 per cent while Kevin Hogan polled just (ahem) 4 per cent.
So we introduced another poll this week with tighter settings restricting people to one vote per IP address.
The result? Our readers are giving incumbent Nationals MP Kevin Hogan the nod with 44 per cent ahead of Labor challenger Patrick Deegan on 35 per cent.
Unlike the NSW election, which saw the minor parties chew up 32.5 per cent of the primary vote, most predictions point to Page being very much a two-horse race with few others shaping up to be major players in the result.
However, I'm hesitant to make a call.
My bold predictions were way off the mark in the State election. The Daily Examiner poll results resonated with my gut feeling that Steve Cansdell would at least be in the top two candidates for Clarence, but he finished third with just 16.8 per cent of the vote - 2034 votes less than runner up Trent Gilbert.
Was Mr Hogan's decision to cross the floor political suicide? Or will the voters actually see it for what it was - a show of his strength to stand on his own two feet for what is inherently right.