The Age’s Tim Colebatch understands the Victorian upper house preference voting system better than most and has today pulled together this summary of all the upper house possibilities. It was heartening to be rated a chance in the Northern Metropolitan region as follows:

“In the most bizarre preference deal of the campaign, the Liberals, Labor and the Country Alliance are all directing preferences to S-x Party leader Fiona Patten. Journalist Stephen Mayne, an independent, has a chance, as does the DLP’s John Kavanagh, brother of Peter. If none of them scores enough votes to matter, it will come down to Liberals versus Labor, with Greens de facto leader Greg Barber set to hold his seat — and the balance of power.”

However, Colebatch, like everyone else, has missed the possibility of Sarah Hanson-Young’s cousin, Joanne Stuart, winning the fifth and final spot.

Stuart is running as the lead candidate for an independent parents and carers group in Northern Metro, which has the benefit of the donkey vote and a first preference from our ticket. If they finish ahead of us and then can get ahead of Family First, victory is quite likely.

Ironically, the S-x Party got all those first preferences coming towards them but nothing of use from the Group it gave its first preference to in Northern Metro, namely the Independent Parents and Carers.

After our preference swap the Parents and Carers Group are then going to the Greens ahead of the S-x Party. This high preference for the Greens, and apparent shafting of some deal with the S-x Party, is partly because of the familial relationship with the South Australian Greens senator.

The Parents and Carers actually have the best preference flow of anyone and with second Green Alex Bathal not even mentioned by Colebatch as a chance of getting up, it would be strategic for Green supporters in Northern Metropolitan to vote for Group A as this could deliver a second de facto Green, on top of Greg Barber.

Joanne Stuart is an impressive candidate who has experience working in unions and is the parent of child with a disability. Like many carers, she’s passionate about the need for a National Disability Insurance Scheme as independent Andrew Wilkie pressured Julia Gillard on during question time yesterday.

The S-x Party structured all of their preference deals to get Fiona Patten elected. They were extremely promiscuous with both major parties that were, to their profound discredit, prepared to play ball to win S-x Party preferences in a series of key lower house marginal seats.

For instance, the crusading Frenchman Serge Thomann has run a cracking campaign as an independent in Albert Part, but if the Port Phillip councillor falls short it will probably be because he was sold out by the S-x Party, which delivered preferences to Labor ahead of him.

The same applies with Phil Cleary in Brunswick and he directly challenged Fiona Patten about this during a forum for independents and minor parties on Jon Faine’s program this morning.

Socialist independent and feisty Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly was equally indignant when the S-x Party went to Labor ahead of him in Richmond.

Usually, small parties try to stick together and help each other, but the S-x Party ditched many minor comrades as part of their pact with the two majors, all of which will probably come to nought in terms of the ultimate strategy of getting Fiona Patten elected because of Sarah Hanson-Young’s cousin.

*Stephen Mayne is standing as an independent for Northern Metropolitan and is deluding himself that a win is coming based on this missive sent out at 5am this morning after an all nighter