THE Christian Democratic Party has scored the first victory in the seat of Gilmore for the September 7 Federal Election with candidate Steve Ryan gaining top spot on the ballot paper.
The ballot draw for Gilmore was carried out at the Australian Electoral Commission office in Nowra on Friday.
The ballot paper position draw, using a double randomisation method, was carried out by Australian Electoral Commission divisional returning officer Peter Manley and electoral officers Cathy Honeyman and Karen Ricketts.
Mr Ryan took top place on the ballot paper with the Labor Party’s Neil Reilly second position, followed by The Greens’ Terry Barratt, the Palmer United Party’s Lyndal Harris and the Liberal Party’s Ann Sudmalis.
Mr Ryan was elated to gain top place on the ballot paper.
“It is a psychological edge I believe – the top position is certainly a good place to be,” he said.
“There are still a lot of undecided voters out there and being in the top position can be an advantage.”
Mr Reilly indicated his second position with a two finger salute, saying, “V for victory.”
“I don’t think it really matters where you are on a ballot paper – the residents of this electorate are intelligent enough to know who they are voting for,” he said.
“I don’t believe the ballot paper position will be reflected in the final outcome.”
Ballot paper position does not matter to The Greens’ Terry Barratt, who said he had faith in Gilmore voters to find his name no matter where it was.
“It was a very democratic process and it comes down to the luck of the draw,” he said.
“Certainly being in the number one position makes it easier for people trying to find your name.
“I rely on people’s intelligence and I don’t think there will be enough donkey votes to really matter.”
Palmer United Party’s Lyndal Harris also agreed that ballot paper placement meant little.
“I don’t think it matters,” she said.
“Everyone will know me by the end of this campaign.
“I don’t believe it matters either way where you are on the paper.”
Although disappointed with her last placing on the ballot paper, Liberal candidate Ann Sudmalis was philosophical.
“It is the luck of the draw and I can’t really do anything about it,” she said.
“I don’t think it will really come into play where any of us are placed on the ballot paper.
“There are a lot of committed voters out there at the moment. I’m meeting a lot of them while doorknocking.”
Ms Sudmalis was the only candidate not present at the draw; she was out doorknocking in the northern part of the electorate, having previously scheduled three village visits in Warilla, Barrack Point and Blackbutt. She left it to campaign manager Eve Craddock and a number of her supporters to attend the draw.