November 19, 2014 – 10:00AM
By Keryn Reynolds
The National Party candidate in the key goldfields seat of Buninyong has declared she will not hand out her party’s how to vote cards after the decision was made to preference the Liberal Party ahead of the Greens.
Nationals candidate Ms Sonia Smith told UniPollWatch that she is instead printing her own how to vote card, and advised voters to put her first and then preference according to their conscience.
The National Party’s official how to vote cards put Ms Smith first, with and second preference to the Liberal Party’s Mr Ben Taylor, followed by Family First, Country Alliance, Labor and the Greens last.
Ms Smith would not say what her personal preferences were but said, ‘Think Indi’.
Ms Smith has previously said she was close to the Greens, describing the party as being ‘trailblazers’ with ‘much that unites us’. She has told other media that she would not preference Liberal candidate Mr Taylor because she feared he planned to ‘roll back abortion laws.’
Ms Smith has also previously told UniPollWatch that she was prepared to cross the floor to oppose coal seam gas mining, and that a vote for her was not a vote for the Liberal Party. She has claimed that she was sounded out about running as a Greens candidate.
Meanwhile Greens candidate for Buninyong Mr Tony Goodfellow was sceptical about Ms Smith’s announcement.
‘I commend her but the proof’s in the pudding. Let’s see at the polling booths. There are about 30 polling booths in Buninyong. Is she going to deliver the new cards herself?’ Mr Goodfellow said.
Keryn Reynolds is a Master of Journalism student at the University of Melbourne