Most of the media in Melbourne has been focussed on the impact of the Green vote in tomorrow’s state election on the ALP. Can the inner-city seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote really fall? But what about the mix of Greens and doctors’ wives? What will happen in the leafy suburbs?

Their Bible, The Age, this week declared water as the key issue of the campaign. National security and the economy certainly aren’t at stake in a state election. With a soft green issues in the forefront, it will be fascinating to see how the Greens perform in Liberal territory where these topics resonate.

With the different sets of subjects focussed on in state and federal polls, there mightn’t be much in the way of lessons for the federal Liberal seats of Melbourne’s east – but there could be Senate implications.

Senate implications – and preference implications, too. Charles Richardson told yesterday how “Greens voters usually preference Labor anyway, regardless of what the how-to-vote card says”. The Australian Electoral Survey data from the 2004 federal poll shows 70% of Green voters did not follow how-to-vote cards for the House of Representatives.

That might just be because of the numbers of how to vote cards that actually ended up in people’s hands.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence around this week that the Greens have got their polling booths very solidly staffed for Saturday. A lot of election day volunteers have coming forward.

This could be the weekend when the Greens finally flex their muscle – the start of an exciting lead up to the federal poll.

Peter Fray

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