Small­est par­ties will

Ul­ti­mately, vic­tory may hinge on lit­tle-known can­di­dates’ pref­er­ence deals

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - CHAD VAN ESTROP

YOUR vote counts at the up­com­ing state elec­tion. That’s the mes­sage from po­lit­i­cal ex­perts who say in­ter-party pref­er­ence deals are likely to be a de­ci­sive fac­tor at the Novem­ber 24 poll.

As “strange bed­fel­lows” go to work to for­mu­late deals, those in the know say mi­cro par­ties, par­tic­u­larly in the Up­per House, could be cat­a­pulted to power.

While the ma­jor par­ties jos­tle for a ma­jor­ity in the 88seat Lower House, ur­ban sprawl, trans­port, con­ges­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and health are shap­ing as key elec­tion bat­tle­grounds.

La­bor has a one-seat ma­jor­ity in the Lower House (45 seats) in­clud­ing Gee­long, Bel­lar­ine and Lara, the Coali­tion needs to win eight seats to form govern­ment.

Lib­eral An­drew Katos faces La­bor’s Dar­ren Cheese­man and the Greens’ Mar­ian Smed­ley in South Bar­won, the mar­ginal elec­torate is pre­dicted to be a key bat­tle­ground for the Coali­tion.

Po­lit­i­cal ex­perts pre­dict the elec­tion will be a tight con­test in which pref­er­ence deals will de­ter­mine suc­cess, and sup­port for mi­nor par­ties will grow.

Self-styled pref­er­ence

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