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Victorian ALP shuns Greens preference deal

Victorian Labor has shunned a formal preference deal with the Greens in the state election, while the government says the ALP can’t be trusted on its relationship with the minor party.

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Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the Greens were proposing a formal partnership but Labor would do no deals with them, continuing his stance from the 2012 Melbourne by-election.

“They were proposing a formal, written binding partnership, comprising preferences,” he told reporters on Friday, where he spent the day at Wangaratta for a sale on his parents’ farm.

“We would preference to them everywhere, they would preference to us everywhere.

“I have directed the state secretary to reject that in full.”

However, Premier Denis Napthine said Labor cannot be trusted when it comes to its relationship with the Greens.

“We know that Labor and the Greens are one and the same and they’ll get together as quickly as Geoffrey Edelsten finds a new girlfriend,” he told reporters.

“We know what happened in Tasmania. We know what happened with Julia Gillard.

“Labor continue to say prior to an election they won’t do a deal with the Greens. Immediately after an election in both cases, they got together.”

Mr Andrews conceded Labor could still swap preferences with the Greens and other minor parties on a seat-by-seat basis, to maximise chances of changing the government at the November 29 poll.

But he added: “Those decisions will be made consistent with our values.”

The Greens are battling Labor for a swag of inner-city lower house seats, including Melbourne that Labor holds by 4.7 per cent.

The Greens already have three upper house MPs and hope to win the balance of power in both houses.

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said where Labor sent its preferences was up to them.

“But their voters might like to know whether a Labor vote ends up with the shooters, a fundamentalist Christian, the Liberal party or even a National,” he said.

“Labor preferences in the past elected Family First Senator Steven Fielding and put the Democratic Labour Party into the Victorian parliament.”

Dr Napthine said his party had some broad principles but would make decisions on preferences on a seat-by-seat basis once candidates are known.

“There are some candidates who may appear on various ballot papers that you simply wouldn’t want to give any preferences to.”

The Liberals directed preferences to Labor ahead of the Greens at the last two state elections.

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