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.

 Next
 Prev

Highlights

The Forager: going alternative, pretty in pink
The Forager: going alternative, pretty in pink

This week in The Forager: regional wine show breaks with tradition, patisserie’s new hotspot, the poetry of food, Rilka Warbanoff cooks with soundwaves, and the best culinary events coming up.

McLaren Vale Wine Show a game-changer

Next month the 2014 McLaren Vale Wine Show will become one of Full Story »

You can’t save Urban Myth – but you can save Warren
You can’t save Urban Myth – but you can save Warren

Any hope of saving Adelaide’s Urban Myth theatre company is gone, but a crowd-funding campaign is still trying to raise enough money to save Warren – a play which more than 50 young performers have been working on for two years.

A group of former staff is also planning to continue youth theatre Full Story »

Ibsen in One Take
Ibsen in One Take

OZASIA FESTIVAL REVIEW | In this Australian premiere, Chinese director Wang Chong pushes the boundaries of convention and reminds audiences that our past can both shape our lives and destroy our future.

Inspired by the works of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen in One Take tells the tragicall Full Story »

Farewell, Margaret and David
Farewell, Margaret and David

If you think of the enduring screen partnerships – Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton – few are based on equality of authority and mutual respect.

But elements of equality of authority and mutual respect are the first things that come to mind as the ABC announc Full Story »

Poem: Chinese Legend
Poem: Chinese Legend

POET’S CORNER | This week’s trio of poems is from Helen Fletcher, who read English at Trinity College in Cambridge and has previously had her work published in UK literary magazines and online.

Chinese Legend

Where is the way?
He points to the sky.
Where is the sky?
He points to his heart.

L Full Story »

Balaklava Cup
Balaklava Cup

Coopers Brewery guests enjoyed cocktails and lunch in the VIP Coopers Marquee at the Balaklava Cup this month.

Full Story »
Aldinga Beach
Aldinga Beach

This home has extraordinary views to the beach and the hills. The lounge features a curved ceiling and a large glass wall which  takes full advantage of the view. The versatile floorplan offers living areas and bedrooms on both levels, internal and external staircases, and expansive spaces for e Full Story »

From Whitlam to Abbott: PMs’ first years
From Whitlam to Abbott: PMs’ first years

Comment | The following was delivered as the 2014 Dean Jaensch Lecture at Flinders University on September 16.

In opposition, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott were fond of comparing their battles to become the nation’s leader to climbing Everest.

The analogy was designed to convey the difficulty and unc Full Story »

Fitch Ratings rejects SA Budget surplus forecast
Fitch Ratings rejects SA Budget surplus forecast

Adelaide | International ratings agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of South Australia at AA, after cutting it from AA+ a year ago.

The key agency’s annual assessment of South Australia’s finances repeated its concerns with the state’s increasing debt position and Full Story »

Partners

Flinders only Aussie finalist in Times video comp
Flinders only Aussie finalist in Times video comp

It’s an Australian video … it’s a top five finalist in the world … and with the Australian public’s views, likes and shares on YouTube, it could be number one!

That’s the thrilling opportunity facing Flinders University’s entry to the Times Higher Education “Why I Love My University Full Story »

Violence and power PhD in Trans-Tasman comp
Violence and power PhD in Trans-Tasman comp

“In South Australia, more than half of the young people who go into juvenile detention reoffend – clearly something’s not working.”

Having worked for more than a decade in the youth work sector, Flinders University PhD candidate Ben Lohmeyer sees the flaws in the system first-hand.

As part o Full Story »

Focus on hospitals at Flinders-Nankai conference
Focus on hospitals at Flinders-Nankai conference

The analytics used to improve assembly lines may seem worlds apart from hospital beds, but the skills of engineers offer real opportunities to make clinical care flow more smoothly and reduce patient waiting times, according to Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber.

Professor Full Story »