Minor party success prompts more to stand in Victorian election

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Melbourne Leader: Minor party success prompts more to stand in Victorian election. Nic Price. 22 November 2014

The success of the Palmer United Party and Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has seen more candidates come forward for next week’s state election.

Voters in the Northern Metropolitan region for the Victorian upper house will have the choice of 52 candidates from 20 parties — up from 34 candidates in the 2010 election.

Monash University politics lecturer Nick Economou said the election of Ricky Muir to the Senate had inspired other micro-parties to try their luck.

“People are seeing the outcome the micro-parties got in the Senate and the power that Ricky Muir and Jackie Lambie, and others, can exercise when they hold the balance of power,” Dr Economou said.

Kris Schroeder is standing in the Northern Metropolitan region for the Victorian upper house.

Four of the five seats appear certain to go to Labor (2), Liberal and the Greens, but the final seat is up in the air.

Among the plethora of minor parties hoping to snag it is Voice for the West candidate Phil Cleary who is calling for a major push to address family violence, which claimed the life of his sister in 1987.

The Basics Rock ’n’ Roll Party’s Kris Schroeder (bandmate of star musician Gotye) is pushing for more localised indigenous education in schools and independent Peter Allan vowed to stop the East West Link.

Family First, the Sex Party and Palmer United Party are among others jostling for votes.

Mr Economou believed the final seat was likely to go to the Liberals or a minor party, which would have to cobble together enough votes from preferences to get to 16.7 per cent.

He said the fifth seat could shape the next Parliament.

“In order for the Greens to end up with the balance of power in the upper house, Labor must win two seats from the Liberals — most likely in Northern Metro and Western Metro,” he said.

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