The Opposition has blamed a record low voter turnout in the North West Central by-election on a lack of advertising from the WA Electoral Commission. But the WAEC says the North West Central results was not far off the turnouts for previous by-elections. Results for the North West Central poll on September 17 were officially declared on Friday and showed more than 50 per cent of eligible voters failed to vote. Out of 11,189 voters across the electorate, only 5335 total votes were received, resulting in a 47.68 per cent turnout for the compulsory by-election. At the State Election in March 2021, voter turnout for the North West Central electorate was 73.76 per cent. Nationals candidate Merome Beard comfortably won the by-election with 60.46 per cent of the two-party preferred vote against Liberal contender Will Baston. Deputy Leader of the Opposition Shane Love said the low voter turnout was disappointing and was evident for the National Party when members during their campaign, stating it was a lack of advertising. “The limited advertising by the West Australian Electoral Commission to let the people of North West Central know about the by-election was simply unsatisfactory,” he said. Mr Love said the party volunteers sent non-branded flyers to homes around Carnarvon reminding people to vote and where to find their nearest voting centre. “Electing a local member is a vital part of our parliamentary processes and everyone should have been made aware and be given the opportunity to have their say,” he said. But the WAEC say they did not believe voter awareness was the reason for the poor participation rate in the recent by-election. “The WAEC conducted an extensive public awareness campaign in the five weeks between the issuing of the writ for election on August 19 and polling day on September 17,” a WAEC spokesperson said. They said the fall of voter numbers for the by-election when compared to the turnout for the electorate at the previous State Election was not far off what has occurred at some other by-elections since 2000. “The previous two lowest voter turnouts for WA by-elections this century were in the seats of Victoria Park in 2006 with 64.04 per cent of enrolled electors voting, followed by Cottesloe in 2018 with 66.56 per cent,” the spokesperson said. The WAEC hoped to understand the cause of the low turnout when failure-to-vote notices are returned.