Preference whisperer goes fishin’ in SA

'Preference Whisperer' Glenn Druery. Photo: The New Daily / Supplied
'Preference Whisperer' Glenn Druery. Photo: The New Daily / Supplied

Adelaide | While ‘preference whisperer’ Glenn Druery is providing free advice to a range of South Australia’s minor parties on how to win seats in the election, he’s on the payroll of just one.

Druery refused to say who that was, but InDaily has been told by three separate sources he’s on a retainer from the Shooters and Fishers party. InDaily has been unable to contact the Shooters candidate in SA this morning.

Preference horse-trading ends midday next Thursday. When the Electoral Commission releases the crucial upper-house group voting tickets later next week there’s a good chance some micro-parties, seemingly including the Shooters, will have done better than the others – and that’s thanks to Druery.

Druery’s an ultra-distance cyclist, and that’s where InDaily found him by phone this week – on his bike cycling in New South Wales.

His minor party alliance has already held two meetings in South Australia with one more to come before Thursday, he said. And the fact that he was getting paid to represent one of the minors wasn’t a conflict of interest.

“At the meetings I will always say that I have a client, and while I’m standing up here I have no client,” he said.

“Once I leave the floor I’m here in another capacity.

“So there’s no conflict of interest. And one thing I’ve got to be very careful is maintaining that balance. You’re only as good as your reputation in this game.”

It’s not commonly understood that Druery’s seat-winning trick – nicknamed ‘preference harvesting’ by ABC election analyst Antony Green – is actually in two parts.

The first part is well-enough known: Druery brings together micro-parties and shows them the benefits of preferencing each other before the major parties, no matter their ideological differences. That way, at least one or two of them are likely to get elected on preference flows – as the Australian Motoring Enthusiast’s did at the federal election.

The second, less-well-known part is this: Druery can be employed for a fee to negotiate preference flows at the very meetings he organises.

But Druery’s plans appear to have hit a small snag in South Australia, with his once-allies-now-enemies the Liberal Democrats organising a separate minor party alliance in direct competition.

The Fair Minor Party Alliance (FMPA), as it’s known, has been organised by the LDP’s state candidate Michael Noack. Druery was an LDP candidate in 2010 but has since split acrimoniously from the party.

Noack told InDaily his group – which he claims included representatives from five of the 11 minor parties planning to run – met for the first time last Thursday. He admitted the FMPA would be working on preference harvesting as well, but said the techniques existed a long time before Druery employed them to such dramatic effect.

The LDP were excluded from Druery’s minor party meetings – “because they are running front groups in the form of Smokers Rights and Hemp”, Druery says.

Noack says the problem is Druery.

“It all started because they’ve been having these meetings excluding the Lib Dems,” Noack said.

“Originally it was a bit more controlled by Glenn. Druery works for the Shooters and Fishers party … and he’s paid by the Shooters and Fishers and he’s been helping them.

“He’s certainly trying to help his clients.”

Noack didn’t expect the two competing alliances to disrupt everybody’s preference-harvesting plans.

“I don’t think they’ll withdraw (from the other alliance), I think most people want to be in both. There is a split because the Shooters and Fishers and most people aligned with the MPA won’t work with us.”

For his part, Druery is expecting to get one or two minor parties into Parliament’s upper house.

“I would expect the Liberals to win four. Labor three. Greens one. Xenophon, he’s a curious bag – the Xenophon camp are confident they’re going to win two.

“If they win two, obviously there’s only one place left. The key here is what happens with the majors, and Xenophon is a major now. It really depends on what happens with the majors. Certainly there’s room for one, possibly two.”

  • Neil Armstrong

    Please note that the “South Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party” are in no way connected to the Shooters and Fishers Party (the Shooters Party, recently renamed)

  • leafygreens

    Didnt a fishing lifestyle candidate say the other day he wasn’t part of this? No wait, he hasn’t got guns..
    Its like that scene in Life of Brian with the different splinter groups with hardly different names…ohh, its just if want to shoot things as well, or instead of, going fishing in marine reserves, plus or minus the 4WD… off track? do they put your family first or last? Do they smoke? Splitter!!!
    Now we find this micro candidate facilitator is having and each way bet with the deals he’s setting up.
    This should have been sorted well before the state election.



Spike in mental health medication errors
Spike in mental health medication errors

Adelaide | Serious medication errors jumped by more than 60 per cent in the South Australian mental health system between 2012 and 2013.

An internal SA Health report, obtained by InDaily, reveals a 62 per cent spike in level 2 medication incidents – defined as those that cause a patient mod Full Story »

AFL fixture: two Fridays and two Thursdays for Oval
AFL fixture: two Fridays and two Thursdays for Oval

AFL | Port Adelaide and Adelaide have been given one Friday night game each at Adelaide Oval in the 2015 AFL fixture.

Both clubs were also allocated one Thursday night game at the venue.

Port plays Geelong on Friday June 12 while Adelaide hosts Richmond on Friday August 7.

Adelaide gets a blockbust Full Story »

Pride: a queer tale of class struggle
Pride: a queer tale of class struggle

FILM REVIEW | As the Pride title cards roll, the classic union march “Solidarity Forever” echoes off the screen accompanying the footage of riots intercut with smug Tory politicians with which every film set in Thatcherite Britain is obliged to begin.

It was surreal to hear the old socialist hym Full Story »

Droggie’s delicate beauties
Droggie’s delicate beauties

PHILIP WHITE REVIEWS | It’s not a family thing, but Philip White almost loses his niceness adoring the new Paracombe whites.

Paracombe Adelaide Hills Holland Creek Riesling 2014
$20; 13% alcohol; screw cap; 92++ points

It was red that first introduced me to Paracombe. It was the first Adelaide Full Story »

Pitt embodies the Fury of war
Pitt embodies the Fury of war

FILM REVIEW | Writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch) holds nothing back in his gritty war drama Fury.

Set in Germany in 1945, the film tells the story of Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), a revered army sergeant in the Allied Forces tank infantry. While others in the infantry fall victim to Full Story »

Kennett Builders celebrate 100 years
Kennett Builders celebrate 100 years

South Australian family-owned commercial construction company Kennett Builders marked 100 years of operations this month with its “100 Not Out” gala dinner at Adelaide Oval. Attended by more than 700 guests, the event raised more than $100,000 for bowel cancer prevention charity The Jod Full Story »


This grand estate includes a tennis court, a sheltered pool and open-plan living spaces. The house has large rooms with high ornate ceilings, bay windows, a stately entrance foyer with parquetry flooring, open fireplaces and rich timber floors. Other features include a large, classical kitchen with Full Story »

NAB result “disappointing”
NAB result “disappointing”

National Australia Bank (NAB) is considering a public float of its troubled UK business after announcing a 9.8 per cent slide in its full year cash profit to $5.18 billion.

Chief executive Andrew Thorburn says the bank is looking at ways to exit the UK business, including a possible stock market fl Full Story »

GFC watershed as US ends stimulus
GFC watershed as US ends stimulus

The US Federal Reserve has decided to end its quantitative easing stimulus program, after six years of pumping easy money into the US economy via asset purchases to shore up growth.

Revealing increasing confidence in a modestly expanding economy despite slower growth elsewhere, the Fed on Wednesday Full Story »


Rules eat up $250 billion a year in profit and productivity
Rules eat up $250 billion a year in profit and productivity

Rules, rules, and more rules. They are  essential in terms of cementing the foundations of our society, protecting the rule of law and a wealth of standards in everything from health to safety and the environment.

But Australia’s productivity is being choked by red-tape and overzealous rule makin Full Story »

Digital technologies, changing our minds
Digital technologies, changing our minds

There is no doubt that cyber technology is having a marked effect on 21st century societies.

In this free public lecture Baroness Susan Greenfield will ask us to consider a world that was unimaginable only a few decades ago: a place where instant information, ever-expanding connections and vibrant e Full Story »

4th Iranian Film Festival Australia
4th Iranian Film Festival Australia

The Iranian Film Festival Australia returns to Adelaide, with an opening screening of I’m Not Angry, Friday 31 October, 7pm. This stunning second film from writer-director Reza Dormishian (Hatred, IFFA 2012) is a love story set amidst the Green Movement and the wave of political protests in 20 Full Story »