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Simon Holmes à Court speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra
Lukas Coch/AAP

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Simon Holmes à Court on ‘community independents’ and two state elections

Simon Holmes à Court on ‘community independents’ and two state elections

Simon Holmes à Court and his Climate 200, the body that provided funding for “teal” and some other independent candidates who promoted action on climate change, integrity and women’s issues, had great success at the federal election. But will community candidates become a big force in November’s Victorian poll and the March NSW election?

In this podcast, Holmes à Court talks about the “enthusiasm” from the community independents movement about the desertion by voters of the major parties, and the mobilisation already under way in various areas to get behind candidates. But he stresses there will be new challenges to face in the two state campaigns. A major one is the more restrictive arrangements around funding, compared with the federal election.

Community independents in the state elections will target frustrations in their local areas, but climate change and integrity will be strong themes of their campaigns. “In Victoria, our polling shows that climate is very high [in voters’ minds] and people are frustrated with the pace of change in some of the Andrews government’s actions there - we have the dirtiest grid in the country and a less certain plan for phasing out coal than New South Wales, for example”.

Federally, teal candidates ran in Liberal seats. In Victoria, where there is a long-time Labor government, can we expect to see strong community independents also in Labor seats?

“There is talk in Victoria that there might be some independents or minor parties challenging more in the outer suburbs and putting a lot of heat on the Andrews government, responding to the frustrations in those communities.”

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