A few weeks ago I wrote a column titled Everybody Loves Steven Fielding after it was reported that the Liberals and members of the Labor Right were considering preferencing Family First over the Greens – with the Democrats at that time yet to rule out a similar deal.
Now it seems that everybody loves Bob Brown, with the Democrats and Greens negotiating a nationwide preference deal and Labor announcing its intention to send preferences to the Greens in the Senate in return for Greens preferences in the House of Reps everywhere but Tasmania – where the Greens will be leaving preferences up to voters in protest over the ALP’s backing of the controversial Tamar Valley pulp mill.
More interestingly, it’s been reported that the Liberals may also direct preferences to the Greens in a handful of key seats to make things more difficult for Labor incumbents. But throughout the rest of Australia, Liberal preferences will be flowing to Family First and Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party, with the Democrats warning a similar deal between Family First and Pauline Hanson may see her return to the Senate at the expense of the Democrats deputy leader, Andrew Bartlett.
With the Greens already polling as high as 20 percent state-wide in Tasmania and a multi-party campaign to take Senate seats from the Liberals in the ACT, it’s set to be a bumper election for the minor party. They should gain another two senators and a high turn-out in NSW would also ensure the re-election of Greens sexuality and gender spokesperson Kerry Nettle, bringing the number of elected Greens to six.
Now to the House of Representatives. In Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull has the second last spot on the ballot paper, with the first going to George Newhouse’s ex-girlfriend and independent candidate Danielle Ecuyer and the second to the Greens’ Susan Jarnason. Being placed first on the ballot usually gives a candidate a boost of about one percent from donkey voters who simply mark the boxes in the order of appearance. Despite a shaky campaign for Labor’s Newhouse, he will probably pick up the seat on Greens preferences, but it will be close.
In Grayndler, Greens candidate Saeed Khan is second last on the ballot, but as a Vice Chairperson of the NSW Ethnic Communities Council and having campaigned strongly on gay rights, he may succeed in making the seat marginal by combining the ethnic and gay vote as well as much of the progressive left vote.
In Sydney, the Liberals have taken first spot on the ballot, with the Greens’ Jenny Leong third and the Democrats’ Mayo Materazzo last. Labor incumbent Tanya Plibersek will probably keep the seat, but with a reduced margin.

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