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SECRET WEAPON: Greens bring out the gimp in Niddrie battle

Luntz470With the Baillieu Liberals not having the stomach for a fight against Labor in the Melbourne western suburbs seat of Niddrie, it’s been an uneventful by-election campaign, with the ALP’s Ben Carroll doing what all sides say has been a good job of meeting and greeting and making a very favourable impression. Definitely one to watch for the future.

We were naturally suspicious of such a quiet and seemingly decently-conducted election and interrupted our focus on the great state of Queensland for a few minutes to see what dirt we could dig up.

Impressively, one candidate, independent Jim Little, has demonstrated his commitment to recycling by using the same material as he did at the 2010 state poll, which, of course, has a different date on it. Perhaps candidates in the future could learn from this technique and distribute false election date material in their opponents’ strongholds. Then again, that’s probably illegal. Little sense in it.

But far more impressive than even that was the emergence into the light of the Victorian Greens back room numbers-gimp Stephen Luntz who ventured outdoors during daylight hours, for the first time in years some ventured, to campaign up a storm with the Greens candidate who is so young that the ageing Greens party leadership of sixty somethings Senators Bob Brown, Lee Rhiannon and Christine Milne cannot remember it. We always chuckle when this Zimmer-frame crew refer to their competitors as the “old parties” when their leadership is older – and possibly more loyal to Marxist tenets – than a Beijing politburo.

The local papers struggled to recognise the minor political celebrity but of course VEXNEWS is ever-vigilant.

Luntz, whose makeover from gimp to pimp was once the stuff of national legend and morning TV folklore, has re-emerged from the darkness, and sadly appears just as hairy as he was pre-makeover.

Not good. A modern tragedy.

So what Niddrie voters made of Comrade Luntz, impersonating a ‘connie’ or tram conductor, gathering signatures for subsequent harassment, is, at this stage, unknown. It’s safe to presume he made quite the impression, zipping up Keilor Road, confronting those on their way to Airport West shopping centre or the magnificent Skyways Palace de Pokies.

The Liberals ought to have had a crack in Niddrie, they were probably never going to beat a strong local candidate like Carroll, who many believe incorrectly is state secretary Noah Carroll’s brother or cousin which is not the case, and who is expected to emerge as one of Labor’s future front-benchers.

But western suburbs Libs like Senator Scott Ryan and Bernie Finn pushed very hard for a Liberal candidate, rightly believing that it could be an organisational catalyst for the party which gets much more support in Essendon and Niddrie areas than it has paid-up members. Another missed opportunity by Baillieu, they lament. Some darkly mutter that it’s because Baillieu knows the west is full of people factionally hostile to his eastern-suburban old-money ways. If they’d won the seat, remotely possible in the strongly anti-Labor mood about the place, it would have been a demoralising body blow for Victorian Labor, itself still rather stunned and lost after losing unexpectedly in 2010.


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  1. That makeover video never gets old! The other comment I would make, being a recent westie (I moved from a flat in St Kilda to a house not far from where Julia Gillard lives – for the extra space as well as to get away from all the hipsters ;-)), is that the Libs should definitely have fielded a candidate. The west is filling with white collar centrist Lib fanbois such as myself and not having a presence is just another poor reflection on Ted.

    Posted by Mark | March 23, 2012, 12:25
  2. Proof that you cant polish a turd

    Posted by Sad | March 23, 2012, 12:54
  3. The sex party candidate for Niddrie is very appealing. You should do an article on her.

    Posted by Boris | March 23, 2012, 13:25
  4. Conductors wore green jackets and hats, not red and black. And definitely no red arm patches. What are the Greens trying to say?

    Posted by Communist Conductors? | March 23, 2012, 15:06
  5. Dean… I was wandering what you were up to!

    Posted by Twoy | March 23, 2012, 18:50
  6. Where is his neck?

    Posted by rod sexton | March 23, 2012, 23:57
  7. The Libs didn’t want to blow money on a by-election that they would inevitably lose. Seems a logical decision.

    Posted by The Truth | March 24, 2012, 0:43
  8. Isnt this the porno star with the massive schlong?

    Posted by lawsuit | March 24, 2012, 11:18
  9. So called independent but really liberal candidate for Niddrie Jim Little was clearly seen at 7 45 at Clarendon St primary school A V Heights, removing one ALP sign to put his up and covering another with his. Is that legal? Ethical?

    Also Little and Linacre are both independent Liberals. Both very anti ALP

    Posted by Horace (no joke) Janmiller | March 24, 2012, 11:41
  10. Luntz’s make over did not last long. He has gone feral again. You just can not are ape out of th jungle.

    Posted by Lost cause | March 24, 2012, 14:43
  11. Gee ALP Gillard was the right pick wasn’t she?
    It looks lie the ALP will hold 10 seats in QLD.

    Posted by anon | March 24, 2012, 20:05
  12. Labors primary vote stuck on 45%. Andrew daniels has the samepulling power as brumby.

    Posted by Labor flat lines | March 24, 2012, 21:05
  13. Oh my dear sister Kate it is so nice relaxing on your sofa here in Sorrento wasn’t Marshal’s lunch yummy it went so well with my organic gm free green tea. I do hope Terry secures that contract for his firm Colac Carpets I’m a bit worried about Pete he is such a naughty fellow always 5 minutes from a politicl pong. And that obese lass Inga is a worry with all her dealings in the south east. Can you please pass me the flaxseed cookies?

    Posted by Red Ted | March 24, 2012, 21:53
  14. The ALP results in Qld today and NSW last year, both with womym Premiers, makes the man Brumby in Victoria looks like Jesus. Bob Katter’s new KAP made the Greens look hopeless too.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 24, 2012, 22:46
  15. The VEC 2PP data is misleading. The Greens are running third not second.


    Posted by Melbcity | March 24, 2012, 23:30
  16. Sex party nearly outpolled Greens in Niddrie in some booths, i know which after party i’d prefer .Sorry Luntz.

    Posted by Sex party...romps nearly | March 24, 2012, 23:46
  17. It will be awesome when Little Kevvie and Wayne Swanker lose their seats at the next federal election.

    Posted by Anon | March 25, 2012, 1:13
  18. I heard that Rudd is the only Qld ALP MP who will keep his seat in the next federal election.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 25, 2012, 14:32
  19. Andrew – We are not interested in Niddrie even though I lived in it from 1958-64 in East Keilor. What a dump that new suburb was then.

    Dirt roads (dust in summer just like in a desert), shallow trenches for road side gutter (full of thousand of small red worms – not the garden type either), only a pan service for the outside dunny. We also had low flying domestic aeroplanes from Essendon Aerodrome too as Melbourne Airport was not built them.

    Needless to say we moved to North Balwyn in late 1964; a nice clean Liberal suburb and home of Sir Robert Menzies electorate of Kooyong.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 25, 2012, 14:41
  20. Those hopeless Labour Aritocracy still dont get it, Members are leaving in droves, Because they are getting sick of being used, doing a con job for the Niddrie pre election, having known 3 weeks before who will become the new Apparatchik,what does the ALP actually stand for? Something like the arab spring needs to happen within the Party to get it back on track.

    Posted by Brimbank Party hack | March 25, 2012, 14:55
  21. Even Little Kevvie will be gorn aftert the next Federal Election.

    Posted by Anon | March 25, 2012, 15:21
  22. Ding Dong! The ALP is dead. Which old ALP? The Wicked ALP!
    Ding Dong! The Wicked ALP is dead.
    Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
    Wake up, the Wicked ALP is dead. She’s gone where the goblins go,
    Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
    Let them know
    The Wicked ALP is dead!

    Posted by chris | March 25, 2012, 15:55
  23. Shorten puts another nobody chess peice on the chess board. Primary vote fails to move despite no liberal candidate.

    Niddrie should be back at 53% primary not stuck on 45%.

    What that tells us that victoria is still where it was in 2010.

    A big chunk of the labor primary vote has not returned despite a do nothing liberal government.

    Posted by Chess peices | March 25, 2012, 17:59
  24. Niddrie also gives labor hope because the free fall of national, NSW and QLD Labor is not occurring.
    Vic labor is still in the race for government in 2014.
    Holding the 2010 Victorian primary is good news.

    Posted by Glass half full | March 25, 2012, 18:03
  25. Adrian, based on yesterday’s numbers even KRudd’s seat would become safe LNP and Labor would win no seats in Qld

    Posted by RT | March 25, 2012, 18:41
  26. Queenslanders like Rudd but hate Gillard because their man was dethroned.

    State issues are different to Federal issues. When the state are Liberal the Commonwealth often go Labour and Visa/Versa. This may favour Federal Labour a bit so Rudd will win.

    More and more voters are not rusted on Labour or Liberal as both parties are similar so the issues is how they government.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 25, 2012, 19:53
  27. Ben Carroll looked totally out of his depth on the news tonight. Another light weight installed by factional players for their own ends.

    Posted by rick | March 25, 2012, 22:24
  28. Hey Andy! It looks like you’ll have to join the Greens now that the ALP has disintegrated.

    That’s if they will have you!

    Posted by Shagnasty | March 26, 2012, 0:38
  29. The Shortcons shure know how to make the Party HISTORY. Good on them for helping no no too put it to rest.

    Posted by Taliban fan | March 26, 2012, 0:47
  30. Did I hear Ben Carroll thanking Hakki Suleyman in his just-a-tad-too-long speech after Saturday’s byelection?

    Whoops! Ben has a lot to learn if he wants to survive in the real world of politics. Should have cut that speech down, Ben, and mentioned a few less of Labor’s most notorious former branch stackers.

    Posted by Ann | March 26, 2012, 8:01
  31. The suleymans are being brought back into the fold. Note senator conroys glowing speech about hakki.
    With no charges laid from the brimbank inquiry the shortcons feel free to promote the suleymans once again.
    Did anyone notice an MP even had Natalie on the payroll?

    Posted by Brimbank fanclub | March 26, 2012, 8:17
  32. If anyone wants to find out how the ALP has self destructed, they need not look any further than the speech Conroy gave supporting his Brimbank underlings at the very moment Julia was in Rudds office on the night of the Long Knives. Conroy thought he was like Michael Corleone at the Christening of Carlo’s son, but instead he was destroying himself.

    Posted by chris | March 26, 2012, 11:24
  33. The VEC has called 2CP resuts wrong in Nidderi Byelection. Greens come third behind the independents. Ben Carrrol to have over 75% 2CP. all candidates placed the Greens behind the ALP most in last place.

    Posted by Pollblogger | March 26, 2012, 12:56
  34. Just checked Niddrie on the VEC site. Yes an “independent” beat the Greens in primary votes with the Sex Party not far behind the Green too. Was the “independent” are endorsed Liberal or an genuine independent I wonder?

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 26, 2012, 15:52
  35. Opps, that should be “unendorsed Liberal” above

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 26, 2012, 15:53
  36. Well folks here we go again………………………..

    Why are the Suleyman’s now being paraded publicly??????????????

    Why was Ben Carroll so close with Hakki during the Niddrie By-Election campaign?????


    Shortcons have decided……..

    Natalie is set to be the new Member for Derimutt……………

    Telmo Languiller is the weakest link,goodbye!

    Posted by True local ALP member | March 26, 2012, 18:32
  37. Um what happens now Stephen and Bill?

    Posted by Benny Boy | March 26, 2012, 20:03
  38. This blog as usual is sweating all the small stuff – from that tiny elte circle called the shortcon faction.

    The QLD and NSW results cannot be ignored – the QLD result is worse than backlashes during the split in 1955.

    What is happening is that a massive cultural and political split is opening up between the waffle of labor leaders and the reality of a workforce that is now 40% casual.

    Even in a boom Labor governments cannot reach out to the growing list of economic losers in our global economy.

    These are the same people who vote out WorkChoices. People who are stuck on awards or on part time labour hire arrangements.

    Labors talk of a booming economy is an insult to these people. The redistribution of Labors mining tax means little to those industries shedding jobs. Labors super reforms mean little to those juggling finances on part time jobs.

    Labor continues to gush the rhetoric of deregulation and point with false pride to woeful one way free trade agreements that give away our economic self determination.

    An elitist government that cares too much about international contracts on carbon and free trade than its contract with voters about jobs and economic inclusion.

    Labor ministers sound like a conga line of elitist wafflers who are on the way out.

    Posted by no sweat | March 27, 2012, 7:23
  39. Why wasn’t I considered for Niddrie? I was good at doing big persons politics during my brief time in parliament. My career can’t be over already. Bill why have you abandoned me?

    Posted by Nathan Murphy | March 27, 2012, 9:19
  40. Julia’s Australian Fake Liberal party is redundant when big business can just hire the real thing…

    Posted by no need for imitations | March 27, 2012, 13:41
  41. Can’t wait for the fake Julia vs the Real Julian debate in Senate race.

    Posted by the debate | March 27, 2012, 13:43
  42. Julia vs Julian….this is our queen of fake-dom vs the virtual king of global leaking.

    No reality in any of this.

    Posted by get real | March 27, 2012, 13:46
  43. Ohhhh Dean you pwomised!!

    Posted by Twoy | March 27, 2012, 18:59
  44. I am not surprised there was no Liberal candidate in Niddrie. I have never regarded the current Administrative Committee leadership or parliamentary leadership as being prepared to stand up, be counted and to risk a loss for a principle.

    There are times when you must fight knowing you will probably lose because the alternative is to capitulate and cede ground without any respect whatsoever from the people who would otherwise have seen you and admired you.

    If Australia had been run by Baillieu and the Admin Committee in 1914/1915, we would have stopped in India rather than venturing to Gallipoli. This may have saved many lives but it would not have forged a nation.

    Running in a by-election does not have the risks of a real war so there is even less excuse for walking away from the fight.

    The changing demographics of the inner west in Melbourne makes it entirely possible that over the next 10 – 20 years seats like Williamstown and Niddrie will become marginal and winnable. The longer we delay in staking our claim, the less likely it will be that we will gain the credibility to make that a possibility.

    We could have run a local campaign on a few dollars like we do at a general election and we would probably have suffered a mild swing against us. There would have been a week of bad press and then everyone would have found something else to report about. The locals would have been pleased their voices were listened to and it would have been easy to spin a slight swing as the result of making the tough decisions on moderating wage claims to balance the budget etc and how we know people are feeling pain and we regret the ALP left us a budget black hole etc etc.

    Of course, if one’s ego is so fragile, such is not possible.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 27, 2012, 21:20
  45. THE VEC “Nidderie results” are showing more votes in the 2CP then they have recorded primary votes in the recheck. (which should not be the case)

    The VEC also has the Greens in a run-off against Labor, even though they polled just over 10% and in third place behind Andria Surace.

    It is difficult to see how the Greens can end up in a two candidate race against Labor given that The Greens are placed last or behind Labor in all the registered HTV cards.

    The Greens were hoping theft would benefit from the LNP not contesting the election. scrutineers are reporting this is not he case and that the Greens are nowhere near coming close to being a serious challenger.

    The results of the Niddrie contest is a good example of what will happen in seat of Melbourne at the next Federal election due in 2013.

    There is even talk of the possibility that the Greens and the LNP could provide grounds for a Double Dissolution trigger, should one be be required, if the Greens decide to block the business tax cut legislation in the Senate.

    If a double dissolution was held the Greens would be the biggest loser in Victoria. Labor would win four, with a possibility of five Senate seats. maintaining the status quo. If a half Senate election was held Labor would only win two Senate seats giving it just four Victorian Senate spots. In each case the Greens would only win one seat and possibly also lose representation in other states where they currently hold two seats (each won in separate elections). Labor can only improve its chances in a double dissolution election

    Posted by Pollblogger | March 28, 2012, 5:16
  46. For hose that do not understand the basic maths involved in a double dissolution the following information may assist

    In a half senate election six seats a elected on a quota of 14.29

    In a full Santeria election 12 seats are elected with a quota of 7.69

    In 2007 the ALP won 3 senate seats and in 2010 just 2 giving it a total of 5

    To win 5 seats out of 12 the ALP needs 38.46% after preferences. Anything over 34% should see it win 5 seats.

    in a half senate it would need over 39% to hold on to the 5 seats they currenty hold.

    In summary the ALP has better odds of winning in a full Senate election. It would need to poll below 22% – 28% to be worst off then they would be in a half senate election.

    Posted by pollblogger | March 28, 2012, 5:56
  47. The debate about the Labor Senate vote hardly matters in a house that they do not control now.

    The labor vote will be ripped apart in the reps where government is formed.

    End of story.

    Posted by numba fella | March 28, 2012, 16:51
  48. Have just been reading the mainly interesting incisive & humorous comments on the Niddrie by -election, some though are clearly ignorant biased barbs such as from Horace. Horace, is it legal and ethical for the ALP to cover practically all available school fence space with their banners simply because they can afford it? Why such and overkill? Not confident enought to compete with the independents on a shoe string budget which most likely led to the recycling of old material as pompously mentioned in the main article. And why not? The Greens have used environmentally friendly motorbikes to get their green message across and of course no reaction from them on the ALP waste. And Horace how are you so
    cognizant of the ideologies of the two independents? Inane malicious drivel does not help the democratic process.

    Posted by Charlie | April 4, 2012, 23:03


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