McGowan boosted by preferences

NUMBER 2: Voice4Indi independent Cathy McGowan will receive preferences from both Labor and the Greens. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

LABOR and the Greens have directed their number two preferences to Voice4Indi independent, Cathy McGowan, meaning Sophie Mirabella (MHR, Indi) will have to overcome a combination of all three to hold her seat in the September 7 election.

Candidates Robyn Walsh (Labor) and Jenny O’Connor (the Greens) revealed their election preferences this week, with both basing their decisions on the best way to beat the long-time Liberal incumbent.

Ms McGowan has stated she will not direct preferences in the election.

“After the ALP, Ms McGowan is the candidate with the best chance of getting rid of Sophie Mirabella, and we believe that needs to happen if Indi is to have decent representation,” Mrs Walsh said.

“I am concerned that Ms McGowan isn’t showing the same commitment and that many of her votes may, without the direction of a HTV (how to vote) card, go to re-electing Mrs Mirabella.”

Labor received 27.2 per cent of the vote in the 2010 election and the Green got 9.5 per cent.

Those numbers could drop this year due to a field of 11 candidates, but the votes would be a handy addition to Ms McGowan’s tally if it came down to a two candidate preferred battle between her and Mrs Mirabella.

Ms O’Connor said the preference decision was not a complete endorsement of Ms McGowan.

“I’m also concerned that Cathy is not having a clear position on issues that matter,” she said.

“We need more than just being listened to, we need leadership.”

Labor will direct preferences to the Greens at number three, but there was no co-originated deal between Mrs Mirabella’s three main challengers.

Ms O’Connor told the Wangaratta Chronicle the Greens will list the two major parties well down the list on their how to vote cards as a response to their positions on sending asylum seekers offshore.

The Greens usually direct preferences to Labor, but will list independent, Jennifer Podesta, at number three instead because she shares the Greens’ human rights focus.

“It’s sending a very clear message that their asylum seeker policies are not acceptable,” Ms O’Connor said.

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has already indicated the Greens would be listed last on Liberal how to vote cards.

“I’ve pretty much returned the favor,” Ms O’Connor said.

This post is part of the thread: 2013 Federal Election – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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