BUSY: Ipswich mayoral candidate Gary Duffy is working around the clock to sell his message to the public before August 19.
BUSY: Ipswich mayoral candidate Gary Duffy is working around the clock to sell his message to the public before August 19. Inga Williams

Too much choice, not enough time for Duffy and Co

TOO much choice and not enough time or resources to get the message out.

That is the dilemma two of the leading nine non-councillor candidates in the August 19 mayoral by-election say they are facing and the figures from a Galaxy poll in today's QT bear that out.

The poll, based on a sample of 507 voters in the Ipswich City Council area, asked which of the 11 candidates on the list they would vote for.

Acting Mayor Paul Tully scored 36% and Cr Andrew Antoniolli was in second on 30%.

Next was accountant Peter Robinson on 9%. Following him were Dallas Klass (5%), Gary Duffy (5%), Jack Paff (4%), Brett Morrissey (4%), Patricia Petersen (3%), Peter Luxton (2%), Paul Rix (2%) and last Ken Salter, who polled less than 1%.

Mr Robinson said with nine non-councillor candidates in the race it made it "really, really hard...just because there are so many choices".

"That just plays into the favour of the existing councillors because they are so widely known," he said.

"But everyone has the democratic right to have a go."

Mr Robinson said he had experienced the scenario before when he ran in Division 5 in the 2016 council elections.

"We had eight run and the vote gets split up unfortunately," he said.

Political analyst Jeff Sommerfeld said recently that the candidates needed "preference whisperer Glen Druery" to help them.

The QT asked Mr Robinson whether there had been any discussion amongst the candidates of directing preferences to just one of them but he said that had not occurred.

Resources on the ground will be vital in this election.

Mr Robinson has some devoted campaign workers but Ipswich has 44 booths on election day to be manned.

He said he probably wouldn't have them all staffed.

"But we'll give it a red hot crack and see how we go," he said.

Gary Duffy, who ran in the 2016 mayoral election, said "a lot of people may have been looking for an alternative".

"But now they have got too many alternatives," he said.

"What we are finding at the (pre-poll) booths is, that because of the short time period between when nominations closed last Tuesday and the 19th . . . people don't know who they are voting for.

"There is not enough information out there. We have done nearly 30,000 letterbox drops in just under a week but we can't get to all the people."

Mr Duffy has been well organised with his how-to-vote-cards at the pre-poll booths with his flyer clearly stating what he stands for.

"We have to work out how to get our message out to people, when people don't know which one to pick because there are so many," he said.

"Are they well enough informed to choose the right candidate?"

It is a good question and only time will tell.

Mr Duffy said he was not focussed on Cr Tully and Cr Antoniolli and their polling.

"Our job is not to beat Tully and Antoniolli. Our job is to beat 10 other candidates," he said.

"The community has got to know us. We thought there was enough information out there for people to know who I was.

"But all these other (candidates) have come in and people don't know who they are, so they are looking at who they are as well.

"The people want to make the right choice for the future of the city and having the information they need to make that choice is what they need, but they are not getting it at the moment."

Mr Duffy will be doing his best to get that message out.

Meanwhile, Mr Robinson conceded he had a large margin to make up to catch the leaders of the Galaxy poll.

But he was not forlorn.

"We'll keep praying and hoping, and stay positive," he said.

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