It was all wentworth it!

The Wentworth by-election saw a historic swing away from the Liberal Party. Wentworth was, until Saturday, one of the safest blue-ribbon seats in the country. 

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Put anyone who covers schools in plastic wrap last on your ballot.

How did we go?

While our first preference vote was lower than it was in 2016, I'm looking at the result in context: we placed 7th out of a huge field of 16 candidates.

The Science Party consistently ranks above minor candidates without parliamentary representation. In Wentworth, we also placed ahead of the Liberal Democrats, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party and Katter's Australian Party 1 (which do have a seat in federal parliament) as well as the Animal Justice Party (which has a seat in NSW state parliament).

We also suffered the lowest swing against us of any party that also ran in 2016.

Many voters were pleasantly surprised to find that the Science Party was an option. I'm confident we got a spot near the top of many a ballot paper... Unfortunately we'll never know how many voters put us second, third, etc. The AEC will release some interesting partial data: the order in which the candidates were excluded from the count, and the number of preferences they collected up to that point.

The most important how-to-vote advice

If you like a minor party, give them your number 1 vote. That action sends a message about what you want to see in parliament. It also helps that party gain public funding, which the major parties currently hoover up.

Just be sure to rank the big players (usually Liberal and Labor, but in this case Phelps) in the order of your choosing, and your vote will do what you intended.

Other observations

One great thing about the campaign was the number of female candidates: seven out of 16 (compared to zero out of eight in 2016). It was a great to relief to me personally that gender felt irrelevant to this campaign, after the Liberals's tone-deaf preselection of a man from the north shore in response to calls that they needed to preselect a local woman.

Wentworth was the biggest by-election campaign the Science Party has run, in terms of funds raised, flyers dropped, and polling places staffed.

I'm proud of our efforts and the mark we've made! People are ready for change, and are receptive to our message of a fairer society, a smarter economy, and better government.

If you're as excited for the federal election as I am, come along to the Science Party's AGM in a few weeks (see the event on Facebook or Meetup)!

 

 


  1. The candidate for Katter's Australian Party, Rob Callanan, was disendorsed by the party after the close of nominations, and remained in the race as an independent candidate.

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