Play a gi­ant role

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can­di­dates to be elected on slen­der first pref­er­ence per­cent­age.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult for the ma­jor par­ties to win ex­tra seats on pref­er­ences in the Up­per House. It’s a game for the mi­cro par­ties,” he said.

“They are all en­gi­neer­ing the bal­lot pa­per with par­ties en­gag­ing in pref­er­ence swaps.”

Mr Green es­ti­mated that 95 per cent of Up­per House votes were above the line, which fed into the suc­cess of pref­er­ence deals.

Leader in the Up­per House Mary Wooldridge — who con­cedes the elec­tion will be “ex­cep­tion­ally close” — said vot­ers needed to be aware of pref­er­ence flows.

“There are strange bed­fel­lows in terms of deals that are done,” Ms Wooldridge said.

She said the Up­per House was one of the most di­verse in the coun­try and the cur­rent it­er­a­tion so­lid­i­fied its role as the house of re­view due to the eight par­ties rep­re­sented.

In Western Vic­to­ria, which takes in Greater Gee­long and the Surf Coast Shire, Deakin Uni­ver­sity pol­i­tics lec­turer Ge­off Robin­son ex­pects the Lib­er­als and La­bor to win two mem­bers each, and pref­er­ence deals to play a ma­jor role in select­ing the fifth and fi­nal po­si­tion.

“The (vot­ing above the line) sys­tem in the Up­per House has en­abled the La­bor Party to make op­por­tunis­tic deals with par­ties like Vote 1 Lo­cal Jobs and Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers to as­sist them against the Lib­er­als,” Dr Robin­son said.

“La­bor has been quite will­ing to do deals with those small­ish cen­trist and even fur­ther right-wing par­ties.”

He said La­bor’s part­ner­ship with the Vote 1 Lo­cal Jobs Party in 2014 saw James Pur­cell elected to the Western Re­gion with just 1.26 per cent of first pref­er­ence votes.

Cor­rec­tions Min­is­ter Gayle Tier­ney was elected to the Western Re­gion with 761 or 0.17 per cent of first pref­er­ence votes.

At the 2014 elec­tion 184,838 votes did not count to­wards the end re­sult and ac­counted for 5.22 per cent of all votes counted.

Dr Robin­son said vot­ing above the line was es­sen­tially plac­ing blind trust in par­ties to al­lo­cate pref­er­ences in ac­cor­dance with a voter’s po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies.

“(The vot­ing sys­tem in the Up­per House) po­ten­tially makes it pos­si­ble for voter pref­er­ences to be ma­nip­u­lated to a de­gree,” he said.

Dr Robin­son ex­pects a mod­est vic­tory by La­bor with be­tween 30 and 40 per cent of the pri­mary vote.

He pre­dicts a resur­gence from the mi­nor par­ties in both the up­per and lower houses due to “po­lit­i­cal dis­il­lu­sion” per­me­at­ing the minds of Vic­to­rian vot­ers. one par­ties have reg­is­tered for the Vic­to­rian elec­tion, but Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion has pulled out. Lo­cally, La­bor’s Chris­tine Couzens, Vic­to­rian So­cial­ists can­di­date Sarah Hath­way and Lib­eral Freya Fidge will con­test Gee­long. They are up against for­mer Lib­eral Party mem­ber and mayor Dar­ryn Lyons, who has thrown his hat in the ring for Gee­long in re­cent weeks, declar­ing him­self an in­de­pen­dent.

In Bel­lar­ine, Greens can­di­date Rachel Sem­mens and Surf Coast Shire coun­cil­lor Brian McKi­t­er­ick — on leave of ab­sence un­til De­cem­ber 1 from coun­cil — will take up the Lib­eral fight in a bid to de­throne Po­lice Min­is­ter Lisa Neville.

Chal­lengers to La­bor MP John Eren are yet to emerge in Lara.

In the Up­per House, Western Vic­to­ria MP Si­mon Ram­say won’t re­con­test the elec­tion and Co­rangamite Shire coun­cil­lor Bev McArthur is

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