A breakdown of polling booths across the Capes region has given a closer indication of the wide disparity in voting patterns at the recent Federal election. The political character of different communities was stark in the two party-preferred vote at the May 21 election which saw incumbent Liberal Party veteran Nola Marino re-elected despite a big swing to Labor. With Greens preferences bolstering the Labor vote and National Party votes funnelling through to the Liberals, the two-party numbers don’t disclose the full picture. But Labor candidate Bronwen English’s strong showing against Mrs Marino was also put down to State issues, with the popularity of WA Premier Mark McGowan a factor. At last year’s State election, a strong Green vote at polling booths in well-heeled communities around Margaret River saw environmentally-conscious residents congratulate themselves despite weakening the Warren-Blackwood electorate’s voice in Parliament by ousting veteran Nationals MP Terry Redman in favour of newcomer Labor MLA Jane Kelsbie, who as a first-term backbench MP lacked autonomy and clout in the party room. But those preferences were not enough to defeat Mrs Marino at the Federal poll. At last month’s vote, the strongest overall support for Labor after preferences was seen again in Margaret River, while Liberal support was strongest in the Augusta area and inland communities around Metricup. Despite the Busselton-centred WA Legislative Assembly seat of Vasse being held by Liberal incumbent Libby Mettam, the two-party vote favouring the Liberals was weaker than anticipated, though seniors turned out at polling stations at William Carey Court Village, Busselton’s Baptist Church and the Community Resource Centre to record a vote of about 40 per cent for Labor — and just 25 per cent at William Carey. Cowaramup Primary School capturing voters in the booming community reflected that shifting community with a 54.11 per cent result for Labor. The Margaret River Senior High School poll found 62.17 per cent support for Labor and 56.65 per cent for Labor at Rapids Landing Primary School, compared to just 40.78 per cent at the Augusta Community Resource Centre and 41.42 per cent at Karridale Primary School. Similarly, Dunsborough Primary School voters came in at 43.64 per cent and 43.77 per cent for Labor at Naturalise Community Centre. Those numbers were echoed at Yallingup Hall, Vasse Primary School and Busselton Senior High School. By comparison, voting booths in the Forrest heartland of Bunbury fell in and out of equal support for the two majors.