VOTERS will be able to choose from nine candidates for the federal seat of Calare, but incumbent John Cobb will be in the best position to attract the donkey vote on September 7 after landing the top spot on the ballot paper.
Only three candidates, the Greens’ David Mallard, Palmer United Party’s Brian Cain and latecomer the Christian Democratic Party’s Ian Lyons, were present to watch the order of the ballot being drawn at the Orange returning office yesterday.
None were too concerned about their positions on the paper.
“It’s like when the favourite draws the number one barrier in a horse race, no one often gets there,” Mr Cain at number six on the paper said.
“The main thing was the draw was carried out under the constitution and it was fair and equitable for everyone.”
Dr Mallard scored the number seven spot on the ballot paper and admitted Mr Cobb might attract a few extra votes as number one.
“People talk about the donkey vote, and that helps, but hopefully after that voters will look at where the candidates stand on issues,” Dr Mallard said.
“It’s really a matter of convincing voters to put number one wherever you are on the ballot paper.”
Political newcomer and surprise last-minute candidate Mr Lyons was happy at number three on the paper and was the only candidate to take the opportunity to spin the barrel of numbers.
“It probably helps a little bit if you’re at number one, but people will vote for you anyway,” he said.
Mr Mallard said he attended the draw “to watch democracy” in action and was pleased there were other onlookers.
But Mr Cain had the more serious agenda of sizing up the competition.
“You never know who is running from where until you see who got their nomination in,” he said.
“There were a few we were unaware of.”
Representatives for Mr Cobb and Dr Jennings were both at the ballot draw, but Mr Cain was unsurprised the incumbent failed to show.
“You don’t have to try and buy something you already own,” he said.
1 John Cobb: National Party - Molong
2 Billie Kirkland: Katter’s Australia Party - Bathurst
3 Ian Lyons: Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) - Molong
4 Jess Jennings: Country Labor Party - Lagoon
5 Macgregor Ross: Independent - Lithgow
6 Brian Cain: Palmer United Party - Cargo
7 David Mallard: The Greens - Orange
8 Anthony Craig: Democratic Labor Party - Lithgow
9 Peter Schultze: Australia First - Bathurst