As from today voters can start casting their ballots. Each of the political contenders have registered their final preference allocation recommendations.
The battle lines are drawn and the game begins as the pretenders to the Lord Mayors Gold chain and gown now need to win over the general public.
There are three main contenders in lined up to win the race. There is no trifecta betting only one winner the rest losers.
Whilst Sportingbet Australia have offered tempting odds, the fold up of the ballot will be decided on the order of elimination and preference flows. 60% of voters choice their main candidate and follow the recommended preference allocation with the exception of Green voter. the Greens are at a disadvantage in recommending preferences as they are unable to direct their supporters preferences many who will favour young Will Fowles ahead of the other contenders.
Unlike the election of the Council which has above the line "Senate style" voting the Lord Mayors race is a open field with the order of the ballot providing a significant poll advantage. The number one position holder in the best position to collect not only the donkey vote (Straight down the ticket) but also the inverse donkey vote (Where voters select their main supported candidates then complete the ballot by filling in the remaining squares from top to bottom)
Anticipated order of elimination
First to be excluded from the Lord Mayors race will be , Joseph Toscano (1%) followed by Shelley Roberts (2-3%) and Garry Singer (4-8%) Their votes will travel in all directions with many ending up either with the Greens, McMullin, Ng or Doyle who heads the ticket.
UPDATE: See Melbourne's rats in the ranks The Betrayal Peter mcMullin is no longer considered a serious contender as a result of bad preference deals. McMullin is nolonger in a position to win the Lord Mayorality.
The remaining candidates are expected to poll after distribution of candidates above preferences (In ballot paper order)
Robert Doyle has the highest public profile and he is also assisted by having the top of the ballot position. His main drawback is his running partner Susan Riley and his lead Candidate for the Council Carl Jetter. Both of whom would have to be the worst possible choices one could make if you where seriously looking at who would be the best choice to run Melbourne.
The Greens Adam Brandt is a long shot and is not considered to be in a winning position in terns of support and preference collection. but the Greens have a brand name and they could still surprise us all, but the odds of winning are slender.
Millionaire playboy and leftist candidate Will Fowles,Heir to the Fowles Action house, needs to fight it out with fellow ALP contender Peter McMullin. If Will can secure a higher vote then McMullin then the Greens are out of contention and Doyle moves closer to winning.
On the conservative side of the course is Columb and Morgan whose chances have been significantly been reduced by Doyles late entry. Both Morgan and Columb will fight it out for lead position and hop to collect each others preferences. Whilst Morgan has the money and he is unlikely to spend the money required to be a serious challenger and Columb team is spending even less. Column is assisted by Fiona Snedden who is running a solid grass roots campaign in the Council. To what extent her support will flow on to the Lord Mayors tickets anyone's guess. But as the betting stands Column is likely to poll less the Morgan unless they pull a fast rabbit out of the hate.
Catherine Ng is the real long shot. She comes from the So stable but she is not highly recommended by John So as the lead Candidate. If she can survive the starting gate rush and collect Gary Singers preferences she would stay in the race and pick up preference drift and come uop 0 the middle.
The starters gun has just been fired and this is a marathon and not a sprint and anything can happen. Much depends on the extent of campaign funds which in turn determines their reach. 55% of voters do not live in the City of Melbourne and they will be relying on the media and brand naming for their selection. The more money you have the better your chances are of surviving.
In terms of money you can expect Peter McMullin, Will Fowles and Gary Morgan all millionaires with money to burn and the Greens who have federal and state public funding along with the resources of public office to boost their campaign.
Both The Greens and Doyle have the advantage of brand naming all of which seriously brings into question the merit of the direct election model where the rich and famouse have the lead over the good governance and sound public policy.