The Bradfield Nine

So I visited the seat of Bradfield yesterday, covering the Hornsby prepoll centre for a few hours in the afternoon for the Greens’ candidate, Sueie Gemmell.

The booth was quiet, however the one interesting element came when we had one of the nine Christian Democratic candidates during the afternoon. Apparently the party has divided the seat’s polling booths between the nine candidates. Each candidate has their own how-to-vote card which puts themselves first then goes to all the other CDP candidates through a donkey vote. Then the the vote goes to the DLP, Bill Koutalianos, One Nation, Simon Kelly, Philip Dowling, Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, Brian Buckley, Liberal Democrats, Peter Hanrahan, CCC, the Liberals, the Greens and the Sex Party last.

Apparently the CDP has run nine candidates in order to grab attention and to bring attention to the Emissions Trading Scheme. Reading the back of Darryl Allen’s how-to-vote, four of his eight policy points relate to the environment, a fascinating focus for a party that has traditionally focused on social conservative issues and anti-Muslim policies.

Looking at the CDP how-to-vote, it will be quite difficult for voters to follow the HTV correctly, compared to the Liberal and Greens how-to-votes. It is probably safe to assume that there will be a large donkey vote for CDP candidate James Whitehall, probably enough for him to cross the 4% threshold and gain public funding. There will be some flow of preferences to him from other CDP candidates although in all likelihood preferences will flow all over the place.

If James Whitehall manages to outpoll all of the other ‘also-rans’ to come third, it will be interesting to see how much of his preferences then flow on to Susie Gemmell of the Greens, who managed to draw a ballot position higher than Paul Fletcher of the Liberal Party. It will be fascinating to follow the flows of preferences on election night.

While the CDP may well gain public funding through their strategy, it does not seem to be something that can result in any success for their positions or positive attention for the party, and indeed probably won’t help Fletcher retain the seat. While the Greens are unlikely to win the seat, the CDP’s strategy will fragment the conservative vote and increase the donkey vote, improving the Greens’ result. Indeed, Darryl Allen admitted to me that he originally thought the strategy was a bad idea, which is a fascinating insight into the internal workings of a party where a small elite makes all the decisions, no matter how crazy.

A copy of the how-to-vote below the fold.

Darryl Allen's how-to-vote for Bradfield by-election.

Darryl Allen’s how-to-vote for Bradfield by-election.

Other side of Darryl Allen's how-to-vote.

Other side of Darryl Allen’s how-to-vote.