The Victorian Liberal party will direct preferences to Labor, before the Greens at the upcoming state election, Melbourne’s Age reports, with potentially devastating results for the Greens’ hopes of winning seats, and therefore the balance of power.
Over the weeekend, a row between Labor, the Coalition and the Greens over preference deals ahead of the November 27 poll developed.
Victorian Treasurer John Lenders sid he’s disappointed the Greens have not preferenced Labor first in many electorates ahead of the poll, and questioned whether the Greens had formed an alliance with the Coalition, AAP reported.
But in response, Greens Victorian leader Greg Barber said there was no way his party would preference the Liberals first.
And the Liberal Party Victorian director Tony Nutt said it would put the Greens last in all 88 lower house seats, accusing Labor and the Greens of forming their own alliance.
All how-to-vote cards must be handed in by noon on Friday.
Mr Lenders said Labor had given the Greens first preference in all seats while the Greens did the same for Labor in only 12 or 13 seats.
The Greens preferenced Labor in the “vast majority” of seats in the last federal election and in 60 of the 88 lower house seats in the last Victorian election, he said, AAP reported.
“We have some fairly big unanswered questions about what arrangement the Green political party and the Liberal Party have made on preferences,” Mr Lenders told reporters.
“So we have made it clear. We have lodged our preferences and without exception we put the Greens ahead of the Coalition, something the Greens have not reciprocated with.”
But Mr Barber said the Greens and the Coalition had no deal, adding that Labor had preferenced the shooters-friendly Country Alliance in two upper house seats.
“Labor’s gone to a sort of gun-toting climate denialist party in two upper house seats, so if you’re a Labor voter you simply can’t vote Labor unless you want your vote to go down that path,” he told AAP.
“Labor’s got form in that area, electing (former Family First Senator) Steve Fielding and the DLP (Democratic Labor Party).
“We would never preference the Libs and we’re not about to.”
In a statement, Mr Nutt said the Coalition would put the Greens last in all seats, with Labor second last.
“Clearly Labor and the Greens are positioning themselves to form an alliance. Only the election of a Liberal Nationals Coalition government under Ted Baillieu and Peter Ryan will deliver stability, certainty and integrity.”