The media love it: the Greens will win the balance of power by the end of this election.
No detailed analysis. No detailed information. And no tracking of origin of this cheap unfounded rumor.
Let me do now some detailed analysis on this issue. By the end of this analysis, I will claim safely that without extraordinary luck, the Greens will not increase their current representation, if they will not lose one.
The origin of this cheap rumor is the same old “guy”: Sen. Bob Brown.
I heard this cheap unfounded rumor back in 2001, just before the election. At press club address then, he claimed that the Greens will win 5 senate seats. He was lying. And he was enjoying making this lie. And we were enjoying believing this lie. At that time, the Greens was getting in the opinion poll less than 5%. The quota for the senate seat is 14.5%. At that time, no indication that the Greens will win any senate seat, except in Tasmania. But he made the biggest lie. Ms Kerry Nettle was elected on 4.5% of primary vote. She won her seat after the Greens done a dirty secret deal with xenophobic One Nation party. Without such dirty deal, the Greens would not have won any more than Tasmanian seat.
Bob Brown felt no shame to manufacture such big lie. On the contrary. He immediately made similar lie just one year later. Before Victorian state election, 2002, he announced that the Greens will win at least 5 Upper House seats and at least 3 Lower House seats. Again, he was lying: the Greens won no one single seat at that election.
After that, the veteran liar became notorious to launch lie after lie. The last election, 2007, Sen. Brown expected that the Greens will win 7 senate seats and at least 3 seats in parliament. He even named: Grayndler, Sydney and Melbourne. At that time, the Greens were getting 12.5 – 13% of the vote in all opinion polls conducted in the course of election. But on election day, the Greens got around 9% in senate and less than 8% in parliament.
By the end of the election, the Greens got only 3 senate seats: two of them were won with high luck on preferences with less than 9% of primary votes. So in reality, the Greens won only one senate seat with full quota (i.e. with no big luck).
So where Sen. Brown was getting all his confidence that his party will win 7 senate seats? He even predicted to win senate seat in ACT. After election night we knew that the Greens candidate was not even near winning seat there. But Sen. Brown predicted that they will win seat there. This is what we would call “plain lying”. If we want to be more diplomatic, we can call it “deception”.
Well, Sen. Brown, the veteran liar, is trying to deceive the voters again in this election.
The latest opinion poll put the Greens on 12%. So the popularity of the Greens is not higher than the last election (most definitely will get less than last election as according to newest opinion polls compared to opinion polls before last election).
The Greens call it “wrong prediction”.
Now the Greens is adamant they will win lower house seats: at least one. But they may get 3: Grayndler, Sydney and Melbourne.
Can we mention here that Grayndler in the 2007 election was one of the safest Labor seats in Australia with Labor winning on 55.47% primary votes and 71.19% after preferences distributed (they did not need any preferences anyway). The same with Sydney seat. The Greens got then less primary votes than Liberals. So if there is any threat on Labor candidate (and there is no indication of such thing so far), it would come from Liberal candidate, not the Greens.
Well, with the current opinion polls results, we can make different prediction than the Greens leader. The Greens mirage of getting any lower house seat is far from any reality. On the senate front, no one can predict the numbers of seats the Greens will win. But the numbers will be less than what Sen. Brown is talking about.
Not only this. With Nick Xenophon on the senate. And with possibility that his team will get another one. We can easily predict that the balance of power will still be shared by more than the Greens. The same as what was happening before 1998 election: 9 Democrats senators were not enough to control the balance of power without independent senator Brian Harradine.
On the other hands, the Democrats with 12.5% of primary votes in 1990 election could not win more than 5 senators. With the Greens prediction to get less than 9% in senate, we can expect easily that the Greens need a miracle (not only good luck) to increase their representation.
When a party claim to be “alternative” and “progressive”, they should follow “clean politics” of not deceiving voters. Even if the Greens will increase their representation this election, they already lost their high moral grounds as clean politicians.
The question remains: why journalists are taking information from Greens without asking the difficult questions about its reliability. What happened to investigative journalism in this country?