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Editions

Docklands voters turn green and sexy

31 Jul 2012

Docklands voters turn green and sexy Image

Denied a Liberal candidate to vote for in the July 21 state by-election, Docklanders turned green and sexy.

Labor’s Jennifer Kanis won the by-election (on preferences), but in Docklands even fewer people voted ALP this year than they did in 2010 when there was a Liberal Party option.

In 2010, 255 Docklanders voted for Labor’s sitting member Bronwyn Pike (27.12 per cent of the total votes cast) but this year only 186 people cast their primary vote for Ms Kanis (21.33 per cent) at the Docklands’ Hub voting booth.

On July 21, Greens candidate Cathy Oke increased her party’s primary vote in Docklands from 19.57 per cent in 2010 (184 votes) to 27.75 per cent (242 votes).

Ms Oke was the clear winner on primary votes, with Ms Kanis coming in second, the Sex Party third and informal votes fourth.

In 2010, the Docklands’ booth was one of three out of 14 booths to primarily vote conservative.  At that election (which Labor won over the Greens on Liberal preferences), the Liberal candidate Luke Martin attracted 420 primary votes (44.68 per cent).

This year’s by-election enters the history books with the second-lowest voter turnout in Victorian history. Across the electorate, some 32.57 per cent of enrolled voters did not bother to cast their vote.

But Docklands defied this trend with only 7.24 per cent fewer votes cast at the Hub than in 2010 (872 compared with 940).

Without a Liberal candidate to vote for, Docklanders spread their primary vote thinly across the field of 16 candidates.  Only Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka failed to attract at least one primary vote.

Both leading candidates attracted fewer primary votes in Docklands than in the electorate generally, with Jennifer Kanis polling 21.33 per cent in Docklands but 33.37 per cent overall and Cathy Oke polling 27.75 in Docklands and 36.54 per cent overall.

Independent conservative candidate David Nolte picked up 9.17 per cent of the vote (compared with 4.68 per cent across the electorate generally) but the biggest surprise in Docklands was the 11.58 per cent of the vote that went to the Sex Party.

The Sex Party attracted 101 votes – a 150 per cent boost on its 2010 effort when it attracted 40 votes in Docklands (which, at the time, was the highest recorded at any booth).

The Sex Party performed almost twice as well in Docklands at this election as it did across the electorate, where is attracted 6.56 per cent of the primary vote.

Party leader Fiona Patten told Docklands News she was pleasantly surprised by the Docklands result.

She said that, while acknowledging a certain degree of protest vote in the swing to the Sex Party, she hoped to retain at least half of the party’s voters at the next state election.

Ms Patten pointed out that the Melbourne electorate was the youngest and least religious area in the state.  She said young people, in particular, were turned off by the negativity evident in mainstream politics.

“I think we will see a continuing shift away from the major parties, including the Greens,” she said. “Young people don’t understand or respect the old-school ways of the parties and how they conduct their politics.”

The full Docklands vote count was:

Berhan Ahmed – 27 (3.09 per cent); Ashley Fenn (Family First) - 39 (4.72 per cent); Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka - 0; David Nolte - 80 (9.17 per cent); John Perkins - 4 (0.45 per cent); Jennifer Kanis (ALP) -186 (21.33 per cent); David Collyer - 3 (0.34 per cent); Patrick O’Connor - 5 (0.57 per cent); Michael Murphy (DLP) - 22 (2.52 per cent); Joseph Toscano - 8 (0.91 per cent); Stephen Mayne - 42 (4.81 per cent); Kate Borland - 4 (0.45 per cent); Adrian Whitehead - 9 (1.03 per cent); Fiona Patten (Sex Party) - 101 (11.58 per cent); Cathy Oke (Greens) - 242 (27.75 per cent); Maria Bengtsson (CDP) – 10 (1.14 per cent) ; Informal – 90 (10.32 per cent); Total – 872.

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Comments

  • Andrew at 4:40pm on 02/08/12

    Cathy Oke was the only candidate to talk sense about Docklands in this election. She understood the needs of small businesses here. That's why I and most neighbours voted Greens. It's great to have an alternative to the ALP/ Liberals... Cathy stood up for Docklands, and Docklands stood up for her. It's as simple as that.

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