Put Majors Last move has Liberal minister in its sights
By TONY MOBILIFONITIS
FOUR minor parties have set their sights on rolling Scott Morrison’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews out of the Gold Coast seat of McPherson.
The unified effort aligns with the Put the Majors Last (PML) campaign in which minor, anti-establishment parties swap preferences to push their candidates across the line. Overall PML does not promote any one minor political party above another and you the voter can make your own changes.
PML is described as a national voters’ education initiative with the potential to upset the two major-party race in the 2022 election. “This non-partisan initiative will equip voters to give freedom-friendly candidates the full benefit of their vote while disenfranchising the majors and the Greens,” PML’s press release states.
The Gold Coast four are One Nation (Kevin Hargraves), the Values Party (Andy Cullen), United Australia Party (Joshua Berrigan) and the Liberal Democrats (Glenn Pyne), whose candidates met on the same platform at a candidates’ forum during the week. The Australian Federation Party (Gary Pead) did not send their candidate but is counted among the pro-freedom group.
The UAP’s Berrigan, who quit his teaching job in January to campaign full-time in the electorate, has been suggested as the leading challenger to Andrews and is expected to poll more than the 15.9% the UAP (then Palmer United) gained in 2013, well ahead of the Greens on 6.8%.
In 2019, with no campaign, UAP won only 3.3%, One Nation 5.8% and Liberal Democrats 3.5%. The Greens lifted to 10.9 but were still behind the 12.6% total polled by the four minor parties. Their preferences pushed Andrews (48.2%) over the line. ALP polled 22.8%.
Since that time the popularity of the mainstream parties has plummeted due to the damage caused by their COVID restrictions and mandates. A conservative projection for McPherson drawn up by a Gold Coast mathematics teacher has Andrews falling to 43% (49% with preferences) and Labor 20% (28%).
But with the massive numbers of Australians joining anti-mandate protests over the last two years, the minor parties’ polling support is reasonably expected to increase significantly. The electoral effect of these protests has been admitted by the left-leaning website The Conversation.
The projections give UAP a possible 18% plus 11% from One Nation, Values Party and Liberal Democrats for a total of 29%. A preference spill from the major parties could then lift UAP to 51%.
- Vote the Majors Last protest rallies will be held across Australia on May 14.