Shooters send a preferencing message

THE SHOOTERS, Fishers & Farmers party is sending a message to the government this weekend, preferencing Labor candidate Kristy McBain at number four and Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs at number 5.
Typically, the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party supports Liberal values over Labor values, but Matthew Stadtmiller, the SFF candidate in this weekend’s by-election, said it’s time to send a message.
“We’re not very impressed with the way the government dealt with a few issues over the summer, so we’re directing our preferences away from the government,” he said.
At second place on the SFF card was Christian Democratic candidate Narelle Storey and at third place was Jason Potter of the Australian Federation Party.
Mr Stadtmiller’s concerns included “mixed messaging with Covid-19” and bushfire recovery.
“We still have people without a roof over their head near Tumut and down the coast.”
He was also under impressed with the government’s response to drought in recent history.
“If Labor were in the same position as the government and they’d done an equally poor job, we’d be directing people toward the Liberals,” he clarified.
“We‘re making it clear that if you are in government and you do the wrong thing by regional New South Wales, we’ll try and make you pay for it.”
With the by-election just one day away, Mr Stadtmiller said his campaign was doing as well as it could “being a minor party with a limited budget and limited time.”
“We’re just trying to get more funding for the bush,” he said.
Mr Stadtmiller, a Harden resident, is still working and trying to make time with his family during the campaign, but said it was important for the SFF to have a candidate in the by-election to force the government to pay attention to regional areas.
“I was pretty successful for the last Coota election, because when Katrina Hodgkinson had the seat, our local footy club got under $10,000 to build half a tin shed. We’re about to build a million dollar facility at the local football oval now.”
For the SFF, the goal is to pressure the government to direct funding to regional areas, and in that context, Mr Stadtmiller said it’s been worth the time he’s spent on the road.
A review of the how-to-vote cards being distributed by the 14 candidates in the Eden-Monaro by-election reveals some consistent patterns, with the Greens generally receiving low support from other parties and the Christian Democratic Party generally viewed favourably.
Three candidates didn’t advise their supporters on how to vote, other than to ask they be marked as number 1. Those were: Michael Balderstone (HEMP Party), James Holgate (Independent) and Joy Angel (Sustainable Australia Party). One other candidate, Jason Potter (Australian Federation Party) gave numbers 1-10 to independents and smaller parties, but left the major parties at the bottom of the list and encouraged his supporters to make their own decisions.
Analysing the advice from the remaining ten candidates, Greens candidate Cathy Griff was the singularly least popular among her peers, with five of them encouraging their supporters to list her at the bottom of their preferences (including the Shooters Fishers and Farmers, the Nationals, Liberal Democrats, Christian Democrats and Independent Riccardo Bosi). Ms Griff’s low listing was offset by support from Labor and Independent Karen Porter, who both listed her as their second preference.
Independent Riccardo Bosi also ranked low with other candidates, with four others listing him 14th on their how-to-vote cards (the Science Party, Labor, Greens and Liberals). Only one candidate named Mr Bosi as their number two: Liberal Democrat Dean McCrae.
Fiona Kotvojs, the Liberal Party candidate, also received a number of low scores, being listed as 13th by four other candidates, likely influenced by her position at the bottom of the ballot paper.
Overall, the most popular candidate on the how-to-vote cards was Christian Democrat Narelle Storey. She was placed number two on the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers card and third preference for Nationals and Liberals. Ms Storey was also listed fourth for Independent Riccardo Bosi, giving her one of the best overall endorsements from other candidates.
Others who scored high overall were Independent James Holgate and Liberal Democrat Dean McCrae, who were both generally listed in the top eight of other candidates’ preferences.
Ultimately, voters have the final say on how they number their ballot.
– Katie Quinn