Victorian Greens’ election woes not due to preference deals alone, outgoing MP says


Posted

December 12, 2018 18:04:16

An outgoing Victorian Greens MP says it would be foolish to blame the gutting of its numbers in the Upper House on preference deals alone, calling on the party to do some “soul-searching”.

Key points:

  • The Greens lost four of its five Upper House MPs
  • Greens leader Samantha Ratnam says the result shows the need for voting reform
  • Outgoing MP Samantha Dunn says the party must learn from its mistakes

Samantha Dunn lost her Upper House seat for Victoria’s Eastern Metropolitan region, despite winning more than 8 per cent of the first-preference vote.

Transport Matters Party took a seat with only 0.6 per cent of the vote.

A similar trend played out in the Southern Metropolitan region, where Sue Pennicuik won nearly 13 per cent of the vote but was defeated by Sustainable Australia’s Clifford Hayes with only 1.26 per cent of the first-preference vote.

But Ms Dunn said the Greens’ loss of four out of five seats in the Upper House should not be blamed on preference deals alone.

“It would be foolish to blame the gutting of the Upper House Greens MPs only on preference whispering, it is part of the story, but not all of the story,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“It is alarming to see this narrative being played out already.”

Instead, Ms Dunn said the party needed to “do some soul-searching”.

“If we ignore our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them,” she said.

“It is time for the party to address its shortcomings, the way it preselects candidates, the way accountability is measured and managed, its deep-seated aversion to managing conflict appropriately,” she said.

Greens feel loss of ‘five strong women’

The Greens campaign was marred by scandal, with Upper House candidate Joanna Nilson quitting over inappropriate posts on social media and the party resisting pressure to disendorse its candidate for Footscray, Angus McAlpine, over his rap lyrics about drug use and date rape.

Its candidate for Sandringham, Dominic Phillips, was ordered to withdraw from the campaign in the final days after he was accused of serious sexual misconduct.

The party went into the election holding the Lower House seats of Melbourne, Northcote and Prahran, and with hopes of picking up Brunswick, Richmond and Albert Park.

While it managed to gain Brunswick and hold Melbourne and Prahran, it lost Northcote and was unable to take any additional seats from Labor.

But in the Upper House the party was crushed, with leader Samantha Ratnam the only MP out of five to be re-elected.

In a statement, Dr Ratnam said the results showed the need for voting reform in the Upper House, where complex preference deals allow minor parties to win seats with a tiny proportion of the first-preference vote.

“The Greens will also be reviewing our 2018 election campaign and we take full responsibility for our results,” Dr Ratnam said.

“We will feel the loss of five strong women in our Parliament, dedicated to advocating for so many important causes ignored by the old parties.

“The Greens have a crucial role to play in the next Parliament in holding Labor to account as they continue to log our native forests, burn coal and fail to address the state’s housing crisis.”

Topics:

state-elections,

vic



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