Greens preselection wrap


There a whole bunch of interesting preselections currently taking place or concluding in various Greens state parties. Unfortunately I know a lot more than I’m able to say here, but I’ll give you what I can. This list shows that the Greens are currently preselecting for potential new MPs in every state  except for Western Australia (where they’ve hit the ceiling for the near future).

It looks like Tammy Jennings is the clear frontrunner now to be the Greens’ lead MLC candidate in South Australia. I can’t say any more than that at this time.

Former president of Liberty Victoria and prominent barrister Brian Walters SC has been preselected as the Greens candidate for the state seat of Melbourne, defeating, amongst others, Moonee Valley councillor and President of the Victorian Local Government Association, Rose Iser.

The preselection to choose the Queensland Greens Senate candidate is currently underway, with the process wrapping up in early October. There may be other candidates, but there are at least four candidates, with Connors and Waters being the clear frontrunners:

  • Larissa Waters – 2007 Senate candidate and 2009 candidate for Mount Coot-tha
  • Libby Connors – Perennial candidate, most recently in Yeerongpilly at the 2009 state election.
  • Jenny Stirling – Perennial candidate in the Townsville area.

The Greens are also currently choosing their candidate for the ACT Senate race. While nominations are yet to close, it appears that previously reported rumours about potential candidates do not appear to be accurate. However, there is another figure from outside the party who appears to be the frontrunner, and hopefully I can report that at a later date.

Preselection for the Victorian Legislative Council’s Eastern Metropolitan region is also taking place at the moment. The race is the best chance for the Victorian Greens to elect another MLC from Melbourne. Amongst those standing are Emma Henley and Peter Campbell, who both have websites, although it appears Henley’s website is no longer accessible. Update: Stephen L reports in comments that Eastern Metro preselection was won by Damian Magner, 2006 candidate for Eltham. Marcus Ward has also been preselected to run again in Western Victoria.

The Tasmanian Greens have chosen their candidate for Braddon, the only electorate which does not have an incumbent Greens MHA. The candidate is Paul O’Halloran, who led the ticket at the 2006 election. I think it’s safe to assume that Nick McKim, Kim Booth, Tim Morris and Cassy O’Connor will be preselected again in their own seats.

The Greens are set to preselect a former politician with no previous links to the Greens to run in the federal seat of Brisbane, and I’m not talking about Ronan Lee.

The NSW Greens are about to kick off the preselection to choose our ticket for the Legislative Council for the 2011 state election and to choose a replacement for Lee Rhiannon when she resigns to run for the Senate. The preselection will take place mainly in October-November with the conclusion in early December. I’m actually the Returning Officer, so it will be inappropriate for me to provide any commentary, beyond possibly listing the candidates when nominations close. I’ve also decided that it would be too hard for me to separate my RO role from moderating comments on the topic, so any comments on the NSW Greens Legislative Council preselection will be deleted. Sorry, you’ll need to go somewhere else.

Update: I originally listed Matthew Ryan-Sykes as a Queensland Senate candidate, but apparently he is not standing. Sorry for my mistake.

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  1. Libby Connors is my Godmother actually. Her husband, Drew Hutton, was the QLD senate candidate in 2004.

  2. Eastern Metro is over. It was won by Damian Magner (Eltham 2006) in a tight three-way race.

    Also, can’t remember if you covered Western Victoria, but that was won by Marcus Ward, who lost last time because the ALP preferenced the DLP ahead of him.

  3. Has the DLP chap given Labor enough grief yet that they’ll think twice before repeating that preference policy next year? Though looking at the makeup of the upper house I guess he’s not in that influential a position anyway since Labor still need the support of the opposition or Greens to pass legislation anyway.

  4. I disagree that WA have hit their ceiling, although it depends on what you mean by “near future”. Certainly, in the next state election they’d have to be a chance for re-winning Paul Llewellyn’s region (South-West).

  5. I mean 2010/2011. We have four state elections and a federal election in a 12-month period. Every state has an opportunity to increase its representation, except for WA.

  6. To lay out even more clearly:
    -Federal election – opportunities for Senators in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT + Melbourne, Sydney
    -NSW election – opportunity for fifth MLC, Balmain, Marrickville, plus replacing Lee & Sylvia
    -VIC election – opportunity in 5 LC regions and 4 inner-city LA seats.
    -SA election – opportunity for 1-2 new MLCs
    -TAS election – opportunity for Braddon & 2nd in Denison

    And for every one of those elections there are preselections going on now. When you take into account the Senate preselections in NSW and VIC earlier this year, it’s quite possible we’ll be choosing more new MPs right now than any time in the past.

  7. The ALP can use the DLP to block some motions that would get up if the DLP voted for them.

    On Victoria I would say that Melbourne, Brunswick and Richmond are quite winnable, Northcote is winable with a big swing (over 8% or so) and I would argue that with a similar swing Prahran would go because the Greens (currently 20%) would overtake the ALP (currently on 36%) and win on their preferences (unless there was a swing to the Libs that was too big). I think that I am not going with the crowd on that one.

  8. Sorry to disagree again (!) but perhaps 6 LC regions in Vic and 1 lower house in SA state? And is there a chance for an upper house in Tassie? (I haven’t really kept up with it that much there…)

  9. Fair enough about Northern Metro. But there really is no prospect of an SA lower house seat. Their best in 2006 was Heysen in the Adelaide Hills, where they are running Lynton Vonow who came so close in last year’s Mayo by-election. But it’s held by the new Liberal leader, so I think the best they can hope is to overtake the ALP.

    There’s a Tas LC election every year, I don’t see much reason to think the Greens can break through in 2010.

  10. You’re probably right about SA – remember that Howard lost his seat, but the Fed Libs were much more on the nose than the SA Libs (who are quite the opposite). But I wasn’t talking about Northern Metro for a second spot – that’ll be difficult and flukey.

  11. Not Clive Hamilton…someone closer to social justice issues (in an organisation with a higher profile) is the rumour I have heard.

    So who is the person in Brisbane? Not Peter Pyke (he who caused so many dramas previously for the QLD Greens) I’m assuming…

  12. Ah, extra MLCs. Right. They’ll struggle to get 5 extra. 4 extra would be the max. As can be plainly seen, though, I have no idea what I’m talking about.

  13. Oooooo…harsh…

    Instead let us consider the future of the Hairdo – Brendan Nelson. Will the Greens run in Bradfield, who will they choose? Will we see the ALP field a candidate (maybe to capitalise on divisions in the Libs? Looking for a swing to them?).

  14. “It looks like Tammy Jennings is the clear frontrunner now to be the Greens’ lead MLC candidate in South Australia”

  15. It was nothing particularly dramatic, just speculation. But I’m not gonna allow it, since it creates a problem for me in how much I allow without remaining impartial. Go comment on Oz’s blog if you want that.

  16. Sorry to disappoint Stewart, but as Ben says, it was nothing very interesting. Not even worth me posting somewhere else, but he had to delete it.

  17. Being from NSW, I know nothing of the Victorian Greens. They’ve done well in choosing Brian Walters SC, thats a top notch candidate… but for Melbourne? He sounds like the perfect Senate candidate than a lower house candidate. I know its a seat we’ll take sometime in the future but it won’t be 2010. Seems like a waste.

    You love giving us these little appetizer rumours don’t you Ben. Very intrigued by your ACT comment. Will wait in anticipation.

    On a somewhat different topic, what is the story behind Andrew Wilkie running as an independent in Dennison? Did he have a falling out with the Greens while i have been on hiatus?

  18. re Walters & Melbourne – thats Melbourne for the state election, not Melbourne held by Lindsay Tanner. Adam Bandt will be the Greens candidate for that…although some think that Danby in Melbourne Ports is in more danger than Tanner. Yes, both ACT & Brisbane are interesting, but I suspect we will have to wait until a more appropriate time to hear who officially…

    As to Wilkie running as an Independent, I’ve wondered about this, but sadly have no solid info. I suspect either a falling out or a clever “Kris Hanna” strategy to lift the seat from Labour, perhaps when Duncan Kerr resigns (if, when etc).

    Yes Oz, time for new post, but maybe after your project is complete (next week, eh!).

  19. Tom – the issue is Tanner’s primary. It was 49.5% at the last election, which means any drift of preferences and he wins. And the margin is not 4.71% – its 9.42% (54.71% vs 45.29) and that off a primary of 22.8%. Yes, the Greens are much further off Danby and the Libs, but there Danby is sitting on 42%. Were for instance the Greens able to lift their vote there vote to over 25% (and see a split open up bewteen ALP & Libs) thats where the chances lie. Now I’d be interested to Stephen L’s view on the changing demographics in the area – I note it contains the bulk of the state seats of Albert Park & Caulfield, in which the Greens poll moderately well (19% & 15% respectively). The real problem with Melbourne Ports is the Lib vote coming from the Caulfield end – but not living there I don’t know if thats changing. I also note that in the Albert Park byelection (yes I know it didn’t have a Lib running, but I’m using it for indicative purposes only) the split was 57%-43% ALP-Green.

    This is not that differnt a scenario to where Coogee was a couple of elections ago, and that is a seat that is drifting into the realm of possibility (if not 2011 then 2015).

    And no, I’m not going to say who suggested it.

  20. No, the margin is 4.71%. To borrow a British term, the majority might be 9.42%, but the margin is 4.71%. A swing of 4.71% would change the seat, not a swing of 9.42%. The margin in a Labor versus Green contest is 4.71%, no ifs no buts. The Rudd government has a majority of 16 seats, but its margin is 8 seats.

  21. I’m know Wilkie quite well and can say that he was unhappy with what he saw as a handful of Hobart Greens running the party for their own interests. He’s a very genuine and honest person Wilkie, who I have all the time in the world for, so it’s not a decision he would have taken lightly, especially since he almost certainly could have scored a state seat for the Greens. I think that he’s a lot happier now that he’s running purely on his own merits. I wish him all the best.

    A couple of other points:

    *Good riddance to Ronan Lee. I think he lost more Green votes than he gained at the QLD election.
    *Port Melbourne is one of the few seats that demographically seem to be drifting Liberal. While there was a swing to Labor at the last election, I think the Greens will find it very difficult to get ahead of the Libs in the long run.

  22. Okay, so I got my majorities and margins mixed up (no ifs no buts), but I stand by my point that its Tanner’s primary that is the issue – is he going to lose more off that 49.5% at the next election? I don’t think so. It came down by 2.27% from 2004, and with the Govt travelling as well it is I don’t see it coming down 4.7% at the next election.

    As to Port Melbourne, if its drifting Liberal that might actually improve things – Coogee will come into play not because the Greens get past the Libs but because they get past the ALP. That’s because there appears to be a growing block of people in the area who are ALP-Grn swinging voters as opposed to ALP-Lib swingers. This is why I’m interested in demographic changes in Port Melbourne – who’s moving in and who’s moving out.

  23. Wasn’t there a somewhat dubious poll commissioned by GetUp! about six months ago which claimed to show that a fair few Labor voters in Melbourne, Sydney and Grayndler were likely to switch to the Greens over Labor’s weak stance on climate change? If we’re placing a lot of faith in polling we should consider that too shouldn’t we?

    And anyway, dubious GetUp! polling or not, the Labor voters in these seats aren’t like the Labor voters out in the swing seats – just because Labor may be taking votes off the Coalition overall I don’t think means they aren’t going to lose votes to the Greens in these areas. I’d be expecting a decline in the Labor primary vote in those seats, though not enough in Sydney and Grayndler. Has anyone seen other polling that might give a better indication on this?

    Sorry if I sound a bit snarky, it’s definitely not my intention. I’m just interested in debating the point.

  24. Stewart J, as far as Port Melbourne goes, just look at the real estate prices for the area? Definitely Liberal pricetags.

  25. #36 As Coogee.

    Nick, I wouldn’t look too much into a GetUp! poll to be honest. I think that the change between Labor voters who will vote Green because the CPRS isn’t tough enough would be, more or less, fairly equal to the number of Green voters who wanted the CPRS passed and will vote Labor. A recent Morgan poll showed much the same.

    Port Melbourne is an interesting electorate. Danby has a significant personal vote, I would say an above average personal vote, which is always a factor in such a seat.

  26. But the Labor primary vote in those areas was also higher than at the state level, and the Greens vote lower, suggesting that there is potential for Labor to shed more left-leaning votes to the Greens.

    You’ve probably discussed this at length elsewhere, but what’s the generally accepted explanation for why the Greens vote declined in Sydney and Grayndler in 2007? Did you not put as much effort into those seats as in 2004?

  27. Stewart, a difference between Port Melbourne and Coogee though is that Coogee has OPV, which would reduce the number of Lib to Green or Labor to Green preferences. I imagine that in Port Melbourne that, as Melbourne, both the Libs and Labor would preference Green before the other.

    Anyway, I finally read Ben’s post in its entirity. Former MP running for Brisbane. Mmm, tell me it’s Andrew Bartlett. (Though honestly, the Greens aren’t really in with a shot in Brisbane are they.)

  28. Looks like Family First have already slected their senator. (Wendy Francis)
    The DLP will elect this weekend at their state conference Saturday 29th.
    (Three will contesting for that one including Noel Jackson 2007 Candidate)
    Have heard nothing from the Christian Dems at this stage. One would think Linda Brice would again get the nod there.
    Rosa Lee Long should go alright for one Nation.

    If the greens are wise they go with Larrissa Walters again. Unless they can think they can pull a lower house seat.

    Any word on the Democrats ?

  29. @Ziggy
    IMHO the chances of teh Greens winning a lower house seat in Qld are pretty low and I’d hope the best candidate gets the #1 spot on the senate ticket.

  30. Maybe in the west where both the state candidates polled over 20% (23 & 24%) respectively that may have a show.

    The ALP is on the nose in Qld (over corruption) and the libs will take a hit for not standing up against the CPRS. The greens would only need a 25% plus to gain it on a two party preferred so it is possible.

  31. Whoever the candidate is in Brisbane, yes, they’ve got no chance of winning as the primary votes for both major parties are too high, and it’s quite demographically diverse.

  32. Hamish, in Coogee the trend is a rising Lib & Green primary, and a falling ALP one. Yes, OPV could deliver the seat to the Libs through ALP or Green voters not preferencing, But will the ALP issue a HTV preferencing the Greens if the Greens don’t reciprocate? ALP & Lib voters are a pretty disciplined lot so this could be pretty important (noting the 75% exhaust rate of Lib votes in Balmain when the Libs did not pref the Greens). And housing in Coogee is not cheap either…

  33. 31

    Getting 4.71% 2CP is easier than 10%+ 3CP but it would probably need to be higher because the Liberal support is mostly rusted on and most of the vote pick up would come from the ALP 3CPwhich is higher.

  34. Stewart, that’s exactly my point. Coogee is hard for the Greens because of the lack of preferences they are likely to receive. Whereas in Federal seats there are no exhausted votes.

  35. I don’t think those preferences are going to be so hard to get, though. Indeed, I would have thought it easier for ALP voters to preference the Greens without a ticket vote than it is for Lib voters. As to OPV?CPV, what if the Libs issue a split ticket HTV? Or an open ticket HTV (both of which they could do)? And will the Lib preferences flow at over 80% to the Greens as they did last time? And the Greens in Melbourne are coming off a 22.8% primary – they actually ran 3rd in 2007 but got ahead of the Libs due to other flows to them. If the ALP vote drops then the votes have to still all flow to the Greens, otherwise it continues to raise the bar in terms of getting past the Libs.

    My point re Coogee is that it is more likely that the Greens will pass the ALP vote than the Lib vote, certainly in respect of the next 2 state elections. That being the case then it is the flow from the ALP to the Greens which is the concern, not from Libs to Green. And it would appear more likely that ALP voters will pref the Greens than Lib voters.

  36. Understandable Tom, Tanner’s a good member. Did you see him tear Tony Abbott apart on Q&A last night? A good standard bearer of the left.


    Tasmanian timber company Gunns has requested a trading halt in its securities on the Australian Stock Exchange, pending a major announcement on Monday.

    In a statement, Gunns says it is having discussions with a party concerning a possible acquisition, which may lead to an agreement shortly.

    Gunns will release its annual results for the last financial year at the same time as the announcement.

    In December, Gunns reported an after-tax profit of $33.6 million for the first six months.

    It also told the stock exchange it expected to have a partner to invest in its proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill within two months.

    Eight months on, Gunns is yet to name its preferred partner.


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