“The Christian-based political party, Family First, has decided not to
stand at the next NSW state elections, a move that could well unify the
vote of religious conservatives and shore up support for morals
campaigner Fred Nile,” The Sydney Morning Heraldreports
today. “The surprise decision by Senator Steve Fielding’s party means
it and Australia’s only other Christian political party, the Christian
Democrats, will not go head-to-head in upper and lower house contests
in March next year.”

The mere mention of Family First, however, is enough to cause trouble
in South Australia, where there will be a state poll on 18 March.

Yesterday, Greens member Travis Gilbert
announced he plans to challenge the party’s only parliamentarian, Labor
defector Kris Hanna, in his lower house seat of Mitchell because of
rumours sweeping the party that Hanna has entered into preference talks with
Family First.

Hanna’s only hope of holding the seat is to win on preferences. That
will be an ask. He will need to attract a substantial personal vote not
to be eliminated from the count before the Liberal candidate.

The Greens and Family First have both denied that there have been any
negotiations – but such is the power of a mere mention of Family First.