Melbourne State MP, Bronwyn Pike, to quote a line out of 'Yes Minister', has made a courageous decision.
Bronwyn Pike, who is a member of the Left, has criticised Family First and called on the ALP to place them last on the ballot paper behind the Greens. Bronwyn Pike's statement published in today's the Age, could cost her a seat in the State lower-house, but will it?
Bronwyn needs every preference she can get to ward off a rear-guard attack from the very party that she has now sort to protect, the Australian Greens. Preference negotiations are still to be finalised and Bronwyn Pike's public statements may alienate Family First.
In what may be seen as a gamble could very well be a clever strategic tactic. Family First have already stated that they intend to put the Australian Greens last on their registered preference and HTV cards. Bronwyn Pike comes from a Christian support base which makes it hard if not outright impossible for Family First to react by placing her behind the Greens in the preference stakes, so the're preferences are lock in.
Comforted in full knowledge that the Family First has no other option but to preference her before the Greens Pike has played a gamble that may very well pay dividends whilst winning brownie points with the electorate and Green voters.
If the ALP can not secure 50% or more of the primary vote Bronwyn will need every preference she can secure ahead of the Greens to hold on to her seat on the grren vynal. The ALP will be hoping that the Liberal party will out-poll the Greens and as such will secure the seat for the ALP on Green preferences. The Liberal Party needs to only pick up 2-3% of the vote to put an end to the Greens chances of winning the prized Melbourne lower-house seat. If the Liberal Party out-poll the Greens then Bronwyn Pike can rest in the knowledge that the Green's preferences will flow to Labor placing her well above the 50% quota required to win the seat. In fact a number of ALP members are seriously thinking of strategically voting 1 Liberal and 2 Labor as a form of insurance policy.
As the election progresses Bronwyn has more then 80% chance of retaining the seat.