LNP Griffith candidate Bill Glasson is urging alternative voters to put him second at the ballot box, after losing on preferences at the September poll.
Bookies rate the Liberal National Party’s Bill Glasson an 8-1 chance to win the Griffith by-election, but given he probably needs Greens preferences, his chances are slim to none.
Dr Glasson on Monday appealed to “alternative” voters in the Brisbane-based federal electorate to put him second on their ballots.
The ophthalmologist, whose ALP opponent Terri Butler is a $1.06 hot favourite on Sportingbet, concedes preferences are vital to win the seat vacated by ex-prime minister Kevin Rudd.
“It is significant. There is no joys about it,” Dr Glasson said as he campaigned with Treasurer Joe Hockey in the trendy inner-Brisbane suburb of West End.
But Dr Glasson couldn’t have picked a worse time to woo Greens voters.
On Friday the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approved the dumping of dredge spoil, from Abbot Point, in the marine park.
The approval, supported by the federal environment minister, outraged Green groups already livid about the government’s treatment of refugees, attacks on social welfare and carbon tax axing.
While supporting the abolition of the carbon tax, Dr Glasson says he wears an “environmental sleeve” on one shoulder.
But that won’t satisfy Greens voters, says the party’s candidate Geoff Ebbs.
Mr Ebbs polled 10.2 per cent in September and predicts he will receive more primary votes as dissatisfaction with the coalition grows and Labor remains on the nose.
It’s “inevitable” the Greens will decide the result, he says.
Labor holds Griffith by a three per cent margin, after Dr Glasson achieved a 5.5 per cent swing against Mr Rudd at last year’s federal poll.
Mr Hockey says Dr Glasson deserves to be elected because he’s a Griffith local with longstanding credibility and an enormous public profile.
“He’s a bloody good man,” he said.
“Give him a go.”
Apart from the Greens, Dr Glasson will also hope to attract preferences from the Stable Population Party, Family First, Bullet Train for Australia, Secular Party, Pirate Party and Katter’s Australian Party.
Two independents are also running in Saturday’s by-election.