The Greens appear to have been saved the ignominy of going backwards in the Victorian upper house by the Australian Sex Party, which is set to pocket $30,000 of public funding courtesy, in part, of the donkey vote.
After three setbacks in 1998, the Greens have been inexorably increasing their political representation in parliaments across the country.
To suddenly go from three to two upper house MPs in Victoria would have been a big psychological blow, but incumbent Green Colleen Hartland is coming home with a wet sail in the Western Metropolitan region after looking gone for all money last week.
Robbie Swan and Fiona Patten have done a remarkable job putting together The Australian S-x Party in response to Stephen Conroy’s “last straw” internet filter proposal.
Now one of Conroy’s right-wing union mates in Victoria appears to have been toasted after the S-x Party polled an impressive 4.73% of the vote in Western Metropolitan. The donkey vote probably made the difference in cracking the 4% threshold to qualify for public funding of $1.50 per vote.
Labor’s former Legislative Council president Bob Smith gained notoriety for spending hundreds of thousands on 10 self-approved international trips during his four years in the chair.
The imminent demise of the aggressive former AWU boss is ironic in the extreme given that be bailed from the reasonably safe third position in the South Eastern Metropolitan region to the seemingly even safer third position in Western Metropolitan.
Alas, enter the Australian S-x Party which didn’t bother to run in South Eastern Metropolitan where Labor’s new No.3, Lee Tarlamis, has been comfortably elected on Green preferences.
Labor went within 127 votes of winning four and five spots in Western Metropolitan in 2006. Now this core Labor stronghold has served up two Liberals, two Labor and a Green with Smith missing out.
It now appears certain the Coalition will secure 20 of the 40 upper house seats with attention turning to the Northern Metropolitan region.
As Antony Green noted in a blog post last night, Country Alliance will suffer too much below the line leakage to beat the Coalition in Northern Victoria. Antony’s upper house calculator erroneously allocates all below the line preferences to Country Alliance so the final calculation will be nowhere near as tight as it currently suggests.
My task of staying in front of the second Green in Northern Metropolitan and harvesting preferences from across the political divide is looking challenging with the Greens 2600 votes ahead at lunchtime today with 88.6% of the vote counted.
The only potential saving grace is that the estimated 20,000 pre-poll and absentee votes to come in Northern Metro will be from weaker Green areas.
We know this because in the lower house the Greens pre-poll is averaging 2% above its overall vote and the absentees are about 5% above.
Yet in Northern Metro they are currently scoring 4% above on the pre-poll and 8% above on the absentees. This will come back but it will need to be thousands of votes from Labor strongholds such as Broadmeadows and Thomastown if the Coalition is to be denied control of both houses.
At the moment, Antony Green is projecting the second Liberal will finish 15,000 votes ahead of the third Labor candidate in Northern Metro and with below the line voters not going decisively Labor’s way, it is unlikely the Coalition will be denied unfettered control of Victoria’s legislative agenda.
Jeff Kennett enjoyed a two thirds majority in both houses for seven years and turned Victoria on its head. Don’t hold your breath for Ted Baillieu to do likewise with the barest of majorities in both houses.