Preferences whisperer tips big ballot

Andrew Tillett Canberra
Preferences whisperer: Glenn Druery.Picture: Supplied

The mastermind behind the rise of minor parties predicts West Australians will be confronted with a tablecloth-sized Senate ballot paper if they are forced back to the polls.

So-called "preferences whisperer" Glenn Druery believes a re-run election would attract more than the record 62 candidates who stood in the September 7 election.

Mr Druery's role as top adviser to micro-parties came under the spotlight after the election when a raft of minor party candidates were elected.

Among the candidates he advised was the Australian Sports Party's Wayne Dropulich, who won a seat in WA despite polling just 0.23 per cent of the vote.

Mr Druery told _The West Australian _that he would convene a meeting of the minor party alliance if a new election was called.

The alliance is made up of a raft of single-issue parties from across the ideological spectrum who may poll low primary votes but by stitching up preference deals with each other can often get one of their members elected.

The controversial political consultant said he thought that more parties would nominate this time around, including several that did not register in time for the last election.

"My phone has been going red hot today from minor parties expressing a deep interest to run again," Mr Druery said.

"If the minor parties are very smart and run a very strategic campaign, one of them will win a seat. If they all play the game, they cannot fail."

He said a fresh poll would be run in a by-election-style environment, when voters traditionally punished incumbent governments.

Mr Druery said the Liberals would definitely win two seats, Labor probably two, leaving the last two seats to be fought between the third Liberal, the Greens, the Palmer United Party and micro-parties.

He felt the election offered the potential for WA voters to elect two Palmer candidates or a Palmer candidate and a non-Greens minor party and claim a slice of the balance of power in the new Senate, which will be held by Right-leaning crossbenchers.

"This may be in some way a referendum to give the voters of WA far more influence in the Senate and in the Government," Mr Druery said.

"If it's either two Palmer or Palmer and a minor party, that puts WA senators in a position where they hold the balance of power.

"I always encourage the voters to flex their muscles."

Mr Druery said this scenario was prefaced on the Greens not winning a seat, which was possible because they would be "irrelevant" after July 1 when the balance of power shifts to other crossbenchers.

If a fresh election is held, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange could head the party's WA ticket.

The party's number one candidate at the just completed poll, George Georgatos, said yesterday he had recommended to the party that Mr Assange, who was unsuccessful in the Victorian Senate election, head the WA ticket.

Premier Colin Barnett predicted WA voters would stay home if a Senate re-run election was declared.

"I think it will be very, very difficult to get the voters excited," he said.

"There is a decided lack of interest in a one-off Senate election in WA. But if it happens, I expect you will see a drift back to the major parties."