The by-election to fill Peter Beattie’s vacancy in the state seat of Brisbane Central will be held tomorrow. With the Liberals sensibly declining to field a candidate, it is unlikely to be terribly exciting, despite inevitable wild talk about the Greens’ chances. The Nationals were at one point making noises about filling the void with a candidate of their own, apparently convinced that this would add weight to their argument that they should still be considered a going concern in the urban south-east. However, the plan was abandoned when they failed to find a suitable candidate in time. More and better coverage from Mark Bahnisch at Larvatus Prodeo; tune in here tomorrow evening for half-hearted live coverage of the count. The candidates in ballot paper order:
Erik Olaf Eriksen. Beyond the fact that he polled 171 votes as a candidate for Clayfield at the state election last September, Eriksen’s identity is a mystery.
Mark A. White (Family First). Hoping to monopolise the conservative vote, White is described as a telecommunications manager and father of six.
Ian Nelson (One Nation). Nelson is also One Nation’s lead Queensland Senate candidate, and is presumably running to boost his profile. More on Nelson’s outlook on life can be ascertained from videos viewable here and here.
Anne Boccabella (Greens). The Greens website describes Boccabella as a long-time community activist with 28 years experience as a successful small business owner.
Ronald Davy. The other of the two independents in the field is no less an enigma than Eriksen.
Grace Grace (Labor). So good they named her twice (she in fact acquired the name through marriage, her maiden name of Grace Farfaglia bespeaking her Italian heritage), the Queensland Council of Unions general secretary was immediately mentioned as a possible replacement for Beattie along with Michael Dart, chief-of-staff to Sports Minister Andrew Fraser, and Milton Dick, party state secretary, who both promptly withdrew. Steve Wardill of the Courier-Mail reported that Grace’s nomination was fast-tracked by the party’s administrative committee after Anna Bligh chose a short time-frame for the by-election campaign, prompting familiar sounding grumbling from local party members. Wardill said it was understood Ms Bligh and Mrs Grace posed together for candidate photographs in New Farm Park … before the by-election date was even announced. The process was apparently driven by factional arrangements that effectively secured the seat for Unity (also known as the old guard), a sub-faction of the Right distinct from the AWU-dominated Labor Forum.
UPDATE: Still more from Mark Bahnisch at Larvatus Prodeo, this time with videos.