THE Australian Greens have launched their UK campaign this week in order to encourage Australian expats in London to vote Green in the imminent federal election.
The Greens, who claim to provide a real alternative to the “tired, cynical politics of Labor and the Liberal party”, have targeted Australians in London after a 2010 Australian Times exit poll at Australia House found voter support for The Greens in the UK was at 32%.
Spearheading The Greens UK campaign is former Greens Hobart City Councillor and now London-based lecturer, Mat Hines. Mr Hines believes that Greens votes cast in London could be crucial in determining Senate seat results, and therefore the balance of power, as well as deciding the outcome in lower house seats in a number of states.
“With the Liberals decision to put The Greens last on how-to-vote cards, the London vote could determine the outcome of The Greens’ Deputy Leader Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne,” said Mr Hines.
Mr Bandt won this seat in 2010 and currently holds it with a margin of 5.9 per cent.
The Greens currently have nine senators elected to the Australian upper house. In this election, there are three senators up for re-election in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.
Mr Hines said, “Many Australians living in the UK choose their vote based on the type of country they want to return to, as well as how their parliament represents Australia on the international stage.
“To many expat Australians the current direction of the country and its international standing is not one to feel proud of. The direction offered by the Coalition is even less so.
“The Greens offer an alternative to those voters who believe that Australia should be a country that invests in tertiary education and research, tackles poverty and homelessness, supports marriage equality, harnesses our clean energy resources and sticks by our international obligations to welcome asylum seekers.”
Australia House on the Strand is open for pre-polling for the two weeks leading up to the election, from 26 August until 6 September. Voters are encouraged to avoid queues by voting during the first week of voting.
See here for details on how to vote from the UK in the Australian federal election, including Australia House pre-polling opening times.
Image courtesy of AEC