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The Wikileaks Political Party in disarray -

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TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Julian Assange and his Australian WikiLeaks political party is in damage control amid allegations of internal white-anting and treachery.

A key Victorian candidate and almost half the party's national council have quit, pouring scorn on the party's democratic processes.

Despite the open warfare, the party's candidates in New South Wales are urging voters to stick by WikiLeaks.

Jason Om reports.

JASON OM, REPORTER: The WikiLeaks Party promises to turn up the heat in Canberra, but now former members are cranking up the heat against WikiLeaks.

LESLIE CANNOLD, FORMER CANDIDATE: The people who've resigned are heartbroken, people are heartbroken.

JASON OM: For high-profile ethicist Leslie Cannold, the party's ideals of democracy and transparency didn't match the political reality. The Victorian was to stand in for Julian Assange if he won a Senate seat.

LESLIE CANNOLD: It's very cute for people who have to get in front of the public and say, "We are this thing," rather than, "We aspire to be this thing, but we're not this thing at the moment."

JASON OM: She says decisions by the party's national council were white-anted, resulting in a botched preferences arrangement in two states.

In New South Wales, the Shooters and Fishers Party and the extreme Australia First Party were put ahead of the Greens, defying the national council's wishes.

Four council members have quit along with two other party members.

SEAN BEDLAM, OUTGOING WIKILEAKS PARTY SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (male voiceover): "Hi @WikiLeaksParty here's my motherf***ing resignation. I've resigned ... because the game playing was getting stinky as."

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Part of the problem here is the teething problems of a young party. Leslie didn't speak to me to address any issues or concerns. So, you know, from my perspective if something is serious, you speak to the party leader about it.

LESLIE CANNOLD: One thing that is true is that the leader of the party is the national council.

JASON OM: When Lateline interviewed the party's campaign director last month he was adamant about how preferences would be handled.

GREG BARNS, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR (July): The overriding principle will be preferencing or giving - putting higher up the ticket, if you like, those parties which philosophically are committed to the similar types of values of the WikiLeaks Party.

KELLY TRANTER, WIKILEAKS PARTY NSW CANDIDATE: There is no conspiracy theory to this story as far as I am concerned. Mistakes were made. That has been acknowledged by the WikiLeaks Party. We've made that quite clear in our statement. We've apologised for that.

JASON OM: The row has left the remaining WikiLeaks candidates having to explain the blunder to voters. It's now too late to change preference flows and the party has promised to review the error after the election.

KELLY TRANTER: We have to stay focused on the job at hand and that is to run the best campaign we can with the team that we have, which is energised and united.

ALISON BROINOWSKI, NSW CANDIDATE: I've satisfied myself that there was in fact no nefarious intention, but that indeed what we have described as an error was indeed an error.

JASON OM: The party maintains it still attracts a lot of support and denies there'll be a mass exodus over the issue. It says any concerned voters can vote below the line.

Jason Om, Lateline.