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  Liberal Preferences and their Impact on Green Prospects in Melbourne
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ContributorNew Jerusalem 
Last EditedNew Jerusalem  Aug 14, 2013 08:43am
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CategoryAnalysis
AuthorAntony Green
News DateWednesday, August 14, 2013 02:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLife for the Greens at the 2013 election just got tougher with the Liberal Party's decision to change its policy on preferences.

In the past the Liberal party has ignored philosophical differences and taken the entirely strategic decision of recommending preferences for the Greens ahead of Labor.

It was a policy of using my enemy's enemy as a useful tool in the heat of political battle.

Labor was forced to direct resources to fighting the Greens in its own seats because of the Liberal decision.

Now that the Greens win seats from Labor on Liberal preferences, but the Liberal Party has never received a Green preference recommendation in return, the Liberal Party has chosen to make preference decisions based on philosophy rather than strategy.

The Federal Liberal Party will now follow the policy of its Victorian branch at the 2010 state election of treating the Greens as a party ideologically to the left of Labor, and therefore recommend preferences to Labor ahead of the Greens.

It is the only logical position the Liberal Party can take if it wants to argue that the Greens are a bigger danger to the Australia than Labor.

The consequence of this decision is that Greens MP Adam Bandt will find it much harder to retain his seat of Melbourne, gained from Labor on Liberal preferences in 2010. On my estimates, Bandt will need to increase his first preferences vote from the 36.2% he won at the 2010 election to above 40% if he wants to win re-election.

The decision also rules out any remote chances the Greens had of winning other inner-city seats such as Batman in Victoria and Grayndler and Sydney in New South wales.

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