The Democrats, once the third force in Australian politics, were mostly forgotten by voters at the 22 March state election, securing just 1.5 percent of the upper house vote.

Matthew Baird, former national president of the Democrats, said the party was unlikely to win a seat.
It is the worst result for the Democrats probably in 25 years, Baird said.

Peter Furness, No 2 on the Democrats Upper House ticket, described the result as disastrous.

The Democrats struggled for publicity during the election campaign and faced internal divisions, following last year’s national leadership battles. After the counting of primary votes for the Upper House, the Democrats ranked ninth, gaining 1.5 percent of the vote. In comparison, the vote for the Greens soared to 8.5 percent.

According to Baird, things would only get worse before they got better.

At the moment you’d have to say there’s no chance on this planet of having Aden Ridgeway re-elected to the Senate, Baird said. Yet with hard work at a local level, Baird said, the Democrats could win voters back.

It’s a question of whether we can focus back on grassroots pavement politics. And that’s a lot of hard work, he said.

Because the NSW upper house elects half its members each election, the Democrats retain one seat, won by Arthur Chesterfield Evans in the 1998 election.

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