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Oct 5, 2012

The LDP could have won Senate seats; study

During the 2010 federal election most minor parties other than the leftists such as the Socialist Alliance, Carers Alliance, and the Australian Democrats, put the Greens last, or well down the list, something the Liberals and Labor were not smart enough to do.  As result, the Greens were able to secure Senate seats in every state with the support of both of those parties. The last Senate seat decided in Queensland went to them on Liberal Party preferences.

Now a study has revealed that this wouldn’t have happened had the preferences not been allocated to them (well Duh).  No reason was given as to why a study was needed to discover the obvious, but we are dealing with a major party here and given the quality of both, it just makes you wonder why the Libs have not needed one as well. 
What is clear is that had the majors used strategy instead of kneejerk reactions, there would have been fewer authoritarian Greens voted in, and possibly a couple of Liberal Democrats could have been there:    
Now modelling by poll analyst George Hasanakos suggests the Greens would not have won a Senate seat in NSW if the major parties had preferenced each other ahead of the Greens. The study suggests the Greens would have faced a down-to-the-wire race with other minor parties for their Queensland Senate spot, while preferences from micro parties would have decided the final position from Western Australia.
Mr Hasanakos, who publishes his work at, says the free-market Liberal Democratic Party would have won the NSW position if Labor and the Coalition had preferenced each other. 
He believes the Queensland competition would have come down to a battle between the Greens, Family First and the LDP and preferences from the Sex Party, Australian Democrats and Secular Party would have decided the outcome in Western Australia. Former Victorian ALP state secretary Stephen Newnham, who has already called for the major parties to preference each other over the Greens, welcomed Mr Hasanakos's findings.
"This research is an example of why the choice is between more Greens senators or more Labor senators," he said.  Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes said Labor and the Greens were not natural allies.
Editorial note: As the lead LDP Senate candidate in Queensland, I feel that an actual win for us here in that election is an optimistic assumption.  Our Senate preferences were done with an eye to making deals which were designed to give our NSW ticket a better chance as that was where we considered our best opportunities lay.  I was prepared to accept this; basically taking one for the team.
In doing so, we underestimated our vote in Qld, which was similar to what we got in NSW.  Unfortunately, the deals made did not obligate the parties they were made with to do the same elsewhere.  As result, the preference flow was not as beneficial to us here.  Our own preference flow was affected by a number of parties that lied about where they were allocating theirs. 

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