Paperwork in order

With New South Wales election nominations closed and ballot paper positions drawn, I have now added full candidate lists to my election guide – always one of my favourite things to do. A couple of noteworthy details:

Antony Green has tallied up 537 candidates for the lower house, down from 661 in 2003, and a record 333 for the upper house. However, this will not lead to a repeat of the notorious 1999 "tablecloth" ballot paper, which featured 81 different groups with above-the-line voting options. The implementation of optional preferential above-the-line voting at the 2003 election removed the incentive for establishing dummy parties to harvest preferences, and also required that parties with group voting tickets have 15 candidates. The first change reduced the size of the ballot paper, while the second resulted in a smaller number of parties running a greater number of candidates.

• Independent candidates whose nominations were news to me include Debra Wales in Gosford and Ron Page in Murray-Darling. Wales was the Liberal candidate in 1999 and 2003 but was defeated for preselection this time; Page was mayor of Broken Hill until the government dismissed the council in January. Candidates in Keira include the persistent Marcus Aussie-Stone, whose electoral adventures go back to his run against then-Prime Minister Billy McMahon in Lowe in 1972.

• Swimming legend Dawn Fraser, who held the seat of Balmain from 1988 to 1991, is a surprise late entry in the upper house. However, she will be running as an ungrouped candidate, so that anyone wishing to vote for her will be required to number 15 boxes below the line. Of the seven ungrouped candidates in 2003, none polled so much as 1000 votes.

• One Nation is not contesting the election. There is however a remarkably large field of 56 Australians Against Further Immigration candidates for the lower house. The party fielded 62 candidates in 1999 and did not contest in 2003 (UPDATE: Turns out I’m wrong on the latter count – thanks to Charles Richardson for pointing this out). By‘s count, there are 57 lower house candidates for the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group). The Greens are contesting every seat.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

74 comments on “Paperwork in order”

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  1. I can scroll down the page just fine.

    My complaint would be the lack of cell padding. It gives the table a rather awkward feel.

  2. Yes, now it’s working.

    I count eight Liberal lower house candidates with Lebanese surnames. I take this is the first fruit of the Clarke faction’s branch-stacking takeover of the NSW Liberal Party. If they don’t watch out they’ll finish up like the Victorian ALP, and then they’ll be REALLY sorry.

  3. William, your updated pages for the state election are good.

    But you have a problem on the Shellharbour page. You keep referring to the AWU as a left wing union. This is shocking.

    I suspect you mean the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, which is definitely left wing.

  4. What sort of crap is that about the Lebanese surnames…

    I don’t see how your allegation has any basis in fact, but unfortunately it is this sort of general smear on candidates based purely on their ethnicity.

  5. With OPV, my personal preference is for limited-optional preferential (i’m not sure if I made that up), ie. you need to fill in 5 boxes. Obviously if there’s less than 5 candidates than it is compulsory preferential. That’s out of my experience in Werriwa where the informal vote was massive with 16 candidates, primarily due to compulsory preferential voting, yet the valid arguments against OPV.

  6. I made no smear against the candidates. I said there are eight candidates with Lebanese surnames (Sarkis, Massoud etc). It is a well-known fact that Clarke’s faction have been busily branchstacking in Sydney using the Maronite community as stack-fodder.

  7. Comedic episode from Glenmore Park (Mulgoa) today. Diane Beamer and entourage (including Penrith City Councillors Susan Page & former mayor Greg Davies (permanently glued to a mobile phone)) were working the afternoon croud at Glenmore Park shops. Bright orange and black “Your Rights at Work” colour scheme T-Shirts sporting “Diane Beamer”. . .no ALP or Labor. Even her corflutes have the tiny ALP logo obscured with “Your Rights at Work” stickers. You’d think she was an Independent!

    After awhile, some Liberals from the Karen Chijoff camp arrived in their ute. They unfurled a hand-painted banner reading “Labor pain! 12 years of neglect”. Shoppers found it pretty amusing – not so Diane Beamer and company. Another local ALP Councillor was summoned for reinforcements – former mayor and 2-time Federal loser/challenger to Jackie Kelly David Bradbury. After a short while Diane Beamer and ALP apparatchiks left the scene. The State member for Mulgoa, and Minister for Western Sydney & Fair Trading, 3 Councillors including 2 former mayors and a Federal Labor candidate were upstaged by 4 Liberals with a bed-sheet banner. You had to be there. . . it looked like cockroaches scurrying away when under the spotlight! What a laugh.

  8. The Victorian ALP is riddled with ethnic branch-stacking. The Left started it with the Turks in the northern suburbs, and now everyone does it. It’s the main reason I won’t join a faction although I support the Right in a political sense. Hence Tony Abbott’s infamous comment: “Aren’t there any AUSTRALIANS in the Australian Labor Party?” But the NSW Libs are rapidly heading down the same path. Read some of William’s descriptions of the preselection shenanigans in seats like Hawkesbury, with dozens of Lebanese being shunted in and out of branches.

  9. According to Anne Davies in today’s SMH: the Liberals are increasingly pessimistic about winning back Pittwater from the Independent, and the Nats aren’t hopeful about regaining Tamworth.
    Commercial radio in Sydney today says that Debnam has already given up!

  10. Sorry Adam the Left start with the Greeks in the 1970s in the north (Northcote Thomastown) plus the Right start with the Macedonians in north about sametime and the Turks have always been with the right. Just the Jews in ports

  11. There’s a nasty (for the Libs) momentum building in this election. Until recently I was concerned that the “protest vote gone wrong” could still do for Labor, but the Libs seem to be doing evderything they can to ensure that won’t happen. The main election issue is now very much the competence (or otherwise) of the Opposition, and in particular Peter Debnam, rather than the myriad of flaws of a 12-year-old ALP government. Labor has successfully made their opponents the issue (which can be seen quite clearly in the ALP’s ads, which are almost exclusively about Debnam), which is a masterstroke of campaign tactics, if not so good for the health of democracy in NSW (and I say that as an ALP partisan).

    At the moment, it looks like there might even see a further swing to the ALP, which would put even the 2011 election just about beyond reach for the Libs. Having said that, long-term Labor governments are not so unusual in NSW, with the 24 years 1941-1965 coming to mind (and Labor looks to building a long-term State hegemony in Queensland and Victoria as well).

  12. Ah, Adam, I think you better re-read what you wrote.

    Sarkis (just as an example) is a representative of a Local Council – albeit elected as an independant Liberal in 2004.

    Suggesting that somehow the Candidates are firstfruits of the Clarke work, is actually a reflection (if not a slur) on the candidates, some of whom have long histories within the Liberal Party, and were definately preselected in their own right because of their ability.

  13. Millwood-Brown…. who are THEY???

    I’ve just done a phone survey on state-wide and electoral-specific voting intentions for the NSW election, run by a mob calling themselves Millwood Brown. Google seems to think they are a UK-based Market Research mob. They are not in the Sydney White or Yellow pages, but it was a local phone call. From the undue number of questions about the local ALP candidate, I suspect this is one of those “internal ALP polls”

    Anybody know?

  14. From all indications, Labor have given up on Penrith. The direct mail and spam letterbox guff has all but dried up. Instead, they are pumpng money and resources into Mulgoa and Londonderry. Poor old Robert Paluzzano, complete in Penrith City Council clothes (even though wife and sitting member Karyn Paluzzano recently described him as a ‘builder’) looked quite sad and forlorn at pre-poll on High Street. His ‘comrades’ on Penrith Council despise him, and he’s getting bugger all help from the local branch network. Too bad. Karyn can always return to radiography work as she once famously said in an edition of the Penrith Press.

  15. I am always interested to read comments about other candidates, political parties and my own political campaigning. This particular “Poll Bludger” blog page debate covers largely the results of candidates surnames, polling statistics, branch stacking and political competencies. Overall its a reasonable enough debate but seems to lack the underlying understandings necessary to put forward, the best informed viewpoints , on different Independent’s candidacies.

    If Independents are largely beaten then it follws that they would have to have a good reason, and objectives, for standing.

    In my case there is always a good reason why I have stood.

    So comments, such as appear above in this Blog, that say I have been “unsuccessful” , and am a serial loser, would seem to look only at the surface of the ocean, and not all that is underneath, where you will find swimming around details of my resaons for standing, and my successes arising out of being a Candidate..

    Howevere firstly let me join in the spirit of “Anthony Green”, “Adam”, ” Geoff Lambert” and Stewart J’s” analytical comments on this Blog.

    Candidate Aussie-Stone holds the following Political and Electoral records which are soon, undoubtedly, ( how many uniqe factors do they need) , to appear in the “Guiness Book of Records” in their Political Records Section.

    And please let us forget Bob Hawke’s fastest time for drinking a yard of beer. Minute and inconsequential when put up against my far more serious Political Candidacy historical record. It is agreed however that Bob Hawke was one of Australia’s longest and most popular PM’s. Here is Aussie-Stone’s political record.

    1. The living, Australian, candidate who has contested the most number of Federal political seats. I say “living” since in Billy Hughes 23 candidacies case, he has stood more times Federally than any other living candidate. He is closing on his record. Aussie-Stone 16 , could be 17 ???
    2. Has stood against more sitting Prime Ministers than any other candidate, 6. MacMahon, Whitlam, Faser, Hawke, Keating and Howard
    3. Has stood in more seats concurrently (at the same election) than any other candidate, 8. ( 4 1% swing seats in Melbourne and 4 in Sydney)
    ( The Electoral Commisssion heard he had 30 Federal seats signed up complete with all required nominators, for each of 30 NSW different Electorates, to support his next Federal Candidacy campaign, and they changed the Electoral Act Law to stop this from happening)
    4. Only Candidate to stand in the House of Reps and Senate Elections concurrently. Sydney and NSW.
    5. The only Candidate to have had the Electoral Act changed on 3 different occasions to block his candidacy initiatives. VIZ to block the “donkey vote”, “concurrent candidacies in the same election” , “self nomination for Candidacy”
    6. The only candidate to be appear personally before a Full Bench of the High Court convened specially in Sydney to consider whether he had been legally correctly disallowed to “nominate himself’ as one of the required “nominators” to allow a Candidacy. He argued that if you weren’t prepared to first nominate yourself how could you ask anyone else to nominate you.
    7. Only Candidate to successfully argue that his profession was being an “Australian”, and then later “Progressing Rural Australia” , both designates which appeared later on his ballot paper.
    8. Only Federal Candidate to be invited, in two succeeding Elections, by “Andrew Ollie” to be the last Candidate heard on the National ABC breakfast radio program, before the election media blackout came down.
    9. Only Federal Candidate to follow the USA conceived “Battle of the Candidates” format, within Australian Federal election campaigning, and introduce this in the Bass By Election with a local “Battle of the Candidates” forum in a local Hotel . Newspaper headlines read “Bigger Fish Than Bass”.
    10. Only Independent to turn the table on the host (Willisee) of a national commercial TV show, by agreeing to appear, with many other colourful, Independent Candidates, but then refusing to speak ( say one word) when he appeared on on the ” Willisee” Show. Instead he, when asked a second time to speak, expediently produced from his briefcase a “Vote 1 Aussie-Stone, Independent”, printed card and held it before the camera, gaining him instant national TV coverage, and then left the Show. This subsequently had card after card be held up in other TV Political shows where Candidates hope to catch the eye of the media camera.
    11. Only Australian Candidate to join together all Independents, notwithstanding the emormous diversity and contradictions in beliefs they held, to have each one help each other in the same Electorate in the Federal campaign for Parramatta.
    12. The only Federal political candidate to have contested 3 different By Elections in 2 Australian States, NSW and Tasmania, Bass, Werriwa and Parramatta.

    Now let us now look at the issues that have concerned Aussie-Stone and that this Blogs fellow commentators may be so bold as to have suggested that Aussie-Stone had been “unsuccessful’, and as one said a ‘serial loser’. Ah! the naiveity of such youthful memories..

    See firstly.

    Then review what Aussie-Stone’s successive Federal campaigns, and willingness to take repeated electoral thrashings, have succeeded in achieveing to date.

    When you look at these results, you need to take into acount, that in between his electioneering , as a Federal Candidate, to bring important community issues to the fore, He has also appeared before two major Federal Government hearings, discribing new ways to develop Australia’s rich inland tourism product, to attract increased overseas visitors for longer staying inland australia stays, and to argue for increased Aboriginal Employment through greater successes in Aboriginal SME Business developments. See

    and see

    and see

    Besides his Keira campaigning, and the above current stated objectives, to get the NSW DOSRD working together with private industry, to see the Aboriginal and Outback Experiences Highway, be established, to help sustain drought shattered rural economies and Aboriginal and outback SME in regional NSW he has also achieved many other industry progressing successes.


    Have Aussie-Stone been successful ?

    Is he a serial political loser and an unsuccessful political candidate ?

    You be the judge.

    And my special thanks to the “Poll Bludger” Forum. Hardly. it is very hard work.

  16. Sorry I forgot to close with one last comment. Australia is unquestionably , or has been, “the greatest nation on Earth” but if you don’t stay in the race you will be left behind.

    And this is what is happening when our major political parties have so often failed to get in behind private Australian Industry innovations.

    There can be no finer moment than Australians developing Australia for their fellow Australians. However sadly I have to report when such apparently fine Political figures as the Honourable Dr Carmen Lawrence, Peter Garret and Wilson Tuckey allow you to make a presentation and then “nothing”.

    I believe this is a very sad state of affairs that they do not, even with all their taxpayer funded, staff and resources, even drop you a follow up comments on their thoughts or results, or non results, of your presentations. Treating serious committed Australian people , spending their own time and precious self earnt monies, to make the effort on behalf of all fellow Australians, with such disdain, I don’t think it is very nice at all.

  17. It is beginning to look like I am becoming a serial blogger. My apology for inserting the two links to “Pigs Will fly” web site above as they take you into hundreds of unrelated submissions. But rather google “aboriginal highway” and click on the “pigswillfly” references that come up that relate to making the Aboriginal Highway an election issue. This will take you straight to the Pigs Will Fly , Keira State Elections detailed explanations. Sorry again. Cheers Marc.

  18. Dear “The Speaker’.

    At first I thought “psephological” was a spelling error. However it would seem that is a derivative from the Greek “psephos” which translates as “pebble” which the Greeks used as ballots. Coincidental in that my birth name being “Stone”.

    There have been reasons for my emergence on the Political Blogs with recent postings.

    In reply to your appreciated recent post, and since I do respond to response, I put two questions.

    I am seeking to find within all our elected MP’s Federal or State one strong and genuine person who is committed to the economic and social development of Australia and particularly inland Rural NSW. Do you know of such a person ? I have just lobbied every NSW MP on both sides with no result emerging thus far. There may be one there who may eventually surface. In fact I have hopes for the current NSW Premier but it is early days yet. I am not talking about someone who listens but then, where it does make sense, never locks on, and contributes, to make further progress.

    I can see a great deal of work has gone into the setting and maintenance of this Blog.
    I would like to do as you ask and contribute further . I have details of diiferent past electoral initiatives and outcomes and three which resulted in changes to the Electoral Act. Where on this Blog would you suggest that I make that post since the Poll Bludger Blog would appear to have different topical sections ?

    Cheers Marc.

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