Jeff Kennett used to say that running for office is like applying for a job – there are just many more employers sitting in judgment on your credentials.

Sadly, it was consecutive contested election loss number 31 on Saturday as the people of Southern Metropolitan chose two Labor, two Liberal and one Green candidate to represent them for the next four years.

At close of counting last night I was sitting on a miserable 1.37% or 3815 votes, comprising 2171 above the line and 1525 below the line. This was quite odd given that on average 90% of all voters went above the line.

While this was best percentage vote of our upper house candidates, it was still about half expectations and not even good enough to beat either Family First or The Democrats.

Our best lower house result was Mike Noske in South West Coast who polled 3.45%, so we didn’t score $1 of public funding which kicks in at $1.30 for candidates who crack 4%. This means the estimated $150,000 spent by our candidates will be entirely self-funded, which is a painful hit after all this effort.

Antony Green’s calculator is claiming that my preferences have got Looksmart founder and Labor star recruit Evan Thornley over the line in Southern Metro.

If this finishes up giving Labor the balance of power, as seems likely, it will be a helluva cross to bear given that our mission was to stop this from happening.

At one point on Saturday night, Antony Green was projecting that our anti-pokies campaigner, Gabriela Byrne, who is a Christian, was going to win the fifth spot in Southern Metropolitan. If we had only stitched up a preference deal with Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats this might indeed have happened.

Our internal battles are continuing unabated. At one point during the campaign the People Power website was pulled and had to be redesigned and rebuilt with the old Crikey IT team.

Now this site has been pulled and the old site is back online with no reference whatsoever to the Victorian campaign or any candidates.

The upcoming People Power AGM should be a doozy.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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