Electoral contests are increasingly about preferences and the brokers who cut deals that give minor parties a bigger say than they could possibly achieve on their own. Consider Family First, founded in 2002 and gaining its first major success with Victorian Steven Fielding, who was elected to the Senate on the back of a byzantine preference deal in 2004, despite receiving only 2500 primary votes.
Family (and property) First: micro-party more like a mega-clan
Many of Family First's network of candidates in Victoria are related to one another (and to state director Ashley Fenn). And they have an awful lot of property developer links, write journalism students Daryl Holland, Elyas Khan and Keryn Reynolds.