MANY Bendigo residents appear to be choosing their preferred candidates moments before voting.
The Bendigo Advertiser surveyed 126 people entering the Australian Electoral Commission pre-poll office in Hargreaves Street yesterday.
The Advertiser asked who people would vote for and 45 people said they were undecided. Labor received the most support.
Thirty-three people said they would vote for the ALP, followed by 29 votes for the Liberals, eight Greens votes, four Country Alliance votes and two votes for “other”.
Two people said they would vote for the Nationals, one person said they supported Dan Abikhair, and two people said they would make a random or donkey vote.
Candidates and volunteers will today make a pitch for votes at the 63 booths in the seat of Bendigo.
Labor candidate Lisa Chesters said 275 ALP volunteers would hand out how to vote cards.
Liberal candidate Greg Bickley said his party had “plenty of people” ready to help out.
Both major party candidates said preferences would play a significant role in the election.
“This seat has always been decided by preferences,” Ms Chesters said.
“Every vote will matter.”
Mr Bickley said preferences “could flow any way. People are not necessarily voting by the how-to-vote cards,” he said.
“It’s anyone’s guess how those preferences are going to flow.”
Greens candidate Lachlan Slade said he believed Ms Chesters would win the seat and predicted he would increase his vote slightly.
“I believe Bendigo will become more marginal,” he said.
“I don’t think it will be a walk-in for Lisa.” But Mr Bickley said there was “mood for change”.
Fellow Coalition member, Nationals candidate Sarah Sheedy, said she expected to be busy during her final hours of campaigning.
“I’ll be out and about trying to get to as many locations as I can,” she said. The seat is held by the ALP by a margin of 9.4 per cent.
Retired member Steve Gibbons held the seat from 1998 and replaced Liberal member Bruce Reid after an eight year stint.