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Democrats on a roll in Senate poll

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Senator Vicki Bourne Australian Democrats Acting Parliamentary Leader

17 January, 1996__________MEDIA RELEASE _____________ _______________ 96/29


A Democrat Senator from Western Australia - the first since 1990 - was looking increasingly likely based on today's poll results, according to the Democrats’ acting leader Senator Vicki Bourne.

She said the Bulletin Morgan poll showed that Democrat wins In Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia were now "odds on".


“Apart from my own re-election prospects, I am particularly pleased that these four states are all led by Democrat women," Senator Bourne said.

In two states, W A and Tasmania, the Democrats are vying for the last seat against two different Green parties.

These contests will determine whether the Democrats have to share the balance of power in the next Parliament.

Senator Bourne said: “Commentators have used the phrase ‘Kemot or chaos’ to describe this fight. The Democrats have been campaigning under the phrase ‘Keeping the Senate Strong' for the past six months. People seem to agree with this and that appears to be positively affecting the poll results.

“I am thrilled with our steady Improvement In the W est W e are trending up nicely in the polls and can expect this to peak during the campaign when we reach full strength.

"Andrew Murray is an excellent candidate who now seems to have a 50/50 chance of winning. He and the W A Greens' Senator Chamarette will both be facing the electors for the first time.

“In Tasmania, we are still confident of success for Robert Bell. This has always been a tough seat for the Democrats.

"However, our experience shows us that party-based polls are not a totally reliable indicator. Tasmania is a state where people tend to vote for personalities rather than parties, and distribute their own preferences.

“Senator Bell was a winner in 1990, against the odds. W e are confident that he can do it again. One measure of our determination to win in Tasmania is our decision to kick off our political year with a National Conference in Hobart this weekend.

“This will be the first shot in a strong defence of this seat."

Senator Bourne said that the overall rise in the Democrat Senate vote - at a time when all other parties declined - was particularly encouraging.

For comment, contact: Senator Vicki Bourne (02) 247 3377 xARLlAivjuiiN

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