In what is a rare move, the Greens have chosen to direct preferences against Labor at the Northern Territory’s Johnston by-election, to be held on Saturday 29 February.
In the past the Greens have often chosen to make no preference recommendation, but to actively recommend preferences to conservative parties ahead of Labor is very unusual.
The decision is attracting a lot of attention to an otherwise obscure local by-election in an electorate of just 4,988 voters in the northern suburbs of Darwin. If you are after more information on the Johnston by-election, check my background page at the ABC’s Election website.
The decision has started arguments back and forth between Labor and Green partisans, but i’ll leave it to participants to argue the subjective point of whether the decision is right or wrong in policy and/or strategic terms.
But that leaves plenty of room to examine whether the decision is important to how preferences will flow, to the result of the Johnston by-election, and to the Northern Territory election in August.
Update At the by-election, 56.9% of Green voters gave preferences, around 20 percentage points lower than the usual flow of Green preferences. You can find my commentary on the result and preferences at my Johnston by-election page.
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