Monday, July 19, 2010

Fielding's task harder after Green preference deal

The re-election of Family First Senator Stephen Fielding has become a much more difficult prospect following the deal today of a tight preference swap between Labor and the Greens.

Senator Fielding was elected in 2004 when a preference deal with Labor saw him clinch the sixth senate seat with about two per cent of the primary vote.

Back in 2007 he warned Kevin Rudd not to do a preference deal with the Greens because their policies were anti-family but with the removal of Rudd, and his more open engagement with Christians, the preference deal has slipped away from Family First.

Greens leaders Senator Bob Brown described the election of Senator Fielding with just two per cent of the vote as 'peverse' but also said he recommended Green voters ignore official preferences and vote beneath the line to set their own preferences.

On Q & A, Liberal deputy leader, Fiona Bishop criticised the Greens for making a deal with Labor even before their climate change policy had been released. She said it made a mockery of their commitment to environmental issues.

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