People aged 70 and over are the largest constituent group in New England, the Australian Electoral Commission has revealed, accounting for almost one-fifth of all voters.
More than 110,000 people are enrolled to vote in the upcoming byelection. The older demographic is set to dominate the polls, with six out of every 10 voters aged over 45, or 61.7 per cent.
The over-70 age bracket is by far the largest group, with 19 per cent, followed by the 55 to 59 age group, with 9.2 per cent.
At the other end of the spectrum, 1145 18-year-olds are registered to vote, including 32 17-year-olds who turn 18 on or before the byelection day of December 2.
While voter registration closed last week, candidates have until midday on Thursday to put themselves forward.
The Senior Party of Australia has nominated former SAS commander Warwick Stacey as its representative.
A disillusioned former member of the Liberal Party, Mr Stacey believes the public - and in particular seniors - are very upset with the “shameless self interest, abuse of expense accounts and the brazen sense of entitlement” of politicians.
“I’m increasingly appalled at the way politicians treat us with what I call careless indifference,” Mr Stacey said.
“We have a comprehensive policy on politician’s remuneration, superannuation and expense accounts, as well as other policies which will be released during the campaign.
“This is an opportunity for the people of New England to show their displeasure at the way politics has been conducted in Canberra in recent years.”
Tamworth resident Dean Carter will step up as an independent, running under the slogan “enough is enough”.
He wants to reverse penalty rate cuts, create a sugar tax to reduce the rate of diabetes and tackle the region’s youth unemployment issue with a skills training program.
Donald Cranney from Yelarbon, a small town in south-central Queensland, is running for Rise Up Australia.
He is calling for an inland rail line from Goondiwinidi to Gladstone (both of which are in Queensland, outside the New England electorate).
He says the freight line would foster prosperity in the region by making it easier for farmers to get their produce from paddock to port quickly.
The AEC will hold the candidate ballot draw at 12pm on Friday.