Most of you know that I attempted to launch a political party called People Power in 2001 which flopped at the first hurdle when our candidate in the Aston by-election got barely half as many votes as the bloke who came second last in a 15-horse field. 126 out of 77,690 formal votes is hardly a ringing endorsement as you can see from the AEC figures here.
That was enough for me but the co-founder, Vern Hughes, is a sucker for punishment and is having another stab at getting People Power (Not People’s First as PMreported on Friday) up and running as you can see from this fancy website. The first outing will be Saturday’s Werriwa by-election. While the party’s registration is yet to be approved by the AEC, it has formally been lodged and is now being vetted, so People Power Mark II has at least managed to attract 500 members.
Anyway, as nothing more than a distant observer and passive member, I’m going to stick my neck out here and predict that People Power’s candidate in Werriwa, police whistleblower Deborah Locke, will finish either second or third in the 16-horse field (not 14 as we reported yesterday). If all the stars align she could even pull off an upset.
This prediction comes after a three-hour meeting between most of the independent candidates yesterday at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, a former bloodhouse and bikie pub which is respectable enough for aspiring politicians these days.
The independents all sat around to work out who would have the best chance of knocking off Labor. After much shouting, whispering and “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” exchanges, a consensus emerged that Deborah Locke was that person. Therefore, the three independents who will be handing out HTVs across the electorate, former Labor branchstacker Sammy Bargshoon, Ned Mannoun and James Young, have all decided to give there preferences to Locke ahead of the other key contenders.
Deborah told me last night that she has been campaiging extremely hard doing the railway stations every morning and the shopping centres for most of the rest of the day. She has also put up posters all over the electorate.
“I even had a table at Minto and Macquarie Fields all day on Saturday and didn’t get one negative comment about being a former copper,” she said. “The reaction has been fantastic. So many rusted on Labor people are saying ‘go the girl’. People are just sick of Labor and the riots were the last straw – Labor has neglected this electorate for too long.”
The odds are still strongly favouring an easy Labor victory, but the machine is clearly a bit nervous. Yesterday they went to the trouble of a mail-out pointing out how many of the candidates don’t come from the area. Deborah Locke is one such candidate, but she’s also been more visible than anyone else in the 16 person field, featuring prominently in most of the local papers and doing ten hours a days on the hustings.
If Deborah Locke pulls off a surprise, you heard it here first. If she finishes down the field, you can all email abuse next week to [email protected] and tell me to stick to shareholder activism.
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