As campaigns for the seat of Murray heat up, confidential polling obtained by The Area News indicates Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton in the lead for Murray.
The 409 residents across Murray polled on the nights of March 4 and 5 and were given the choices of the Nationals with Austin Evans, Shooters with Mrs Dalton, Country Labor with no candidate, One Nation's Tom Weyrich and independent David Landini.
The polls show the Nationals on top out of all the choices with 34.3 per cent, SSF next with 28.7 per cent, followed by Country labor, One Nation and Mr Landini respectively.
In a two party comparison, Mrs Dalton leads 53 per cent against 47 per cent for Member for Murray and Nationals candidate Austin Evans.
"I am encouraged," Mrs Dalton said.
"I am working incredibly hard, and I want people to know I am about getting change for the better - we can't be ignored any more."
Despite the polling indications, Mr Evans remains committed to the fight amid a great deal of pressure to retain the seat.
With five coalition seats in jeopardy in Upper Hunter, Coogee, East Hills, Barwon and Tweed, it may come down to Murray for the National's to hold the majority. He says at the end of the day, their is only one set of results he cares about.
"There is speculation here, there and everywhere, but the only results I care about is what happens at the booths," Mr Evans said.
"You never know - We've worked hard over 16 months, delivered a lot, and the people will make their judgement."
With the hotly-contested seat showing no clear winner from primary votes, the result may come down to preferences. Country Labor has preferenced Mrs Dalton, however have had no such reciprocity.
She has declared "no preference deals" as has Mr Evans.
Country Labor's candidate Alan Purtill says they preferenced Mrs Dalton to keep the seat marginal, and understand her decision of no preferences.
"I guess we are hoping we can turn this into a marginal seat, and we believe we can do that by preferencing Helen, as she did well at the last election," Mr Purtill explained.
Mrs Dalton said she was more than comfortable running without preferences, saying she wants to be "true to the voters."
"I don’t think I need to preference anyone and I won't," Mrs Dalton said.
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