Nominations for the New South Wales state elections closed at midday yesterday, and the electoral commission has conducted the ballot paper draws and posted the nominations for both houses.
For the lower house, there are 537 candidates – down from 661 in 2003, but still a healthy average of 5.8 per seat. The largest field is 9, in Epping, Hornsby and Marrickville. The main factor in the overall drop is the disappearance of One Nation, which contested more than half the seats last time.
Labor and the Greens have candidates in every seat, while Liberals and Nationals have divided the seats between them according to their coalition agreement – 73 Liberals, 20 Nationals.
The party with the next most candidates is Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats (57), closely followed, surprisingly, by Australians Against Further Immigration with 56. But although they could both be described as on the far right, they clearly haven’t divided up the seats between them – about three-quarters of their candidates are running against each other.
The only others with more than a handful of candidates are Unity (30) and the Australian Democrats (26). There are 78 independents – notably including (in Keira) Marcus Aussie-Stone, who (according to Adam Carr ) stood unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives 15 times between 1972 and 1996.
They do not, sadly enough, include the former Liberal candidate for Wyong, Brenton Pavier, disendorsed for sending a text message about goat s-x, who subsequently backed down on his threat to run as an independent.
Ballot paper draws don’t seem to have produced any systematic advantage. Out of 15 key marginals (12 government, three opposition), Labor has the advantage of a higher position in eight, and the Coalition in seven.
In the upper house, 333 hopefuls will contest the 21 positions, representing 19 different groups (which must have a minimum of 15 each) plus seven ungrouped candidates.