A poll wonk recently observed to me “There will be a lot of disappointed Greens on election night”. NSW Senator Kerry Nettle could even lose her seat, they speculated.

The first part seemed straightforward enough. The Greens habitually overstate their support and go into federal elections with high hopes, only to come out with minor gains.

As for the Kerry Nettle bit, well, I didn’t believe that until I heard exactly the same line from a Greens adviser.

Green votes appear to be returning to the ALP under Kevin Rudd.

Now, Crikey has learned of efforts by Family First to devise a preference strategy that would knock off Greens leader Bob Brown when he recontests his Senate slot at the next election.

The Greens have a high powered Senate ticket in Tasmania, with Brown at the top and former ONA analyst and Bennelong candidate Andrew Wilkie at number two.

Wilkie, however, seems to be failing to make an impact this time around. It is not expected that he will be elected.

Both Labor and the Liberals in Tasmania have been infuriated by the dealings with the Greens in the state parliament. They may be willing to do preference deals that would nobble the Greens.

Family First have some smart operators in their backrooms. Crikey understand that they believe that the right preference flow, combined with an “extreme Greens” campaign aimed particularly at older voters, could end Browns’ 30 year political career.

The Family First and Greens leaders have been trading insults in The Weekend Australian over the past few weeks.

There have been reports recently of threatened legal action from the Greens over a Family First letter seeking donations.

Last week the Tasmania Greens issued a media release saying state leader Peg Putt would undertake a trip to Japan “to dispel forest industry claims that logging in Tasmania is environmentally sustainable” in place of Brown. Instead, Crikey understands he will be campaigning at home.

Just think. Two leaders losing their seats at the next election. Interesting.