There is no doubt that the Animal Justice Party made a great debut at state level at the last South Australian election, held on 17 March 2018.
Let’s unpack the results a little, because there are two important numbers for small (growing) parties like ours:
The first magic number is … 2 % in the Upper House (Legislative Council).
When a party in the Upper House gets two percent of the first preference vote, they get their candidate deposit back … which is $6,000 for our two candidates. Our upper house team of Angela Martin and Wendy Davey got 2.2% of the vote. Not only did we get our deposit back; this result gives us some serious political bargaining power.
To put this upper house result into perspective, in 2014 (before the AJP was registered at the state level), Colin Thomas, running under the name of Independent Animal Justice, got just 0.85 of one percent in the Upper House, with 8787 votes. Nonetheless, Colin did a great job negotiating preference deals and was the 2nd last candidate excluded in the count.
We are now a registered party with a much stronger membership base, and we have more than doubled our vote percentage! Although changes to the voting system have made it impossible for us to win a seat in the Legislative Council with these numbers, it is still a remarkable achievement.
The second magic number is 4% in Lower House.
The same rules about deposit refunds apply to candidates in Lower House electorates, but we need four percent of the primary vote in the Lower House.
We had one candidate on 4 percent (congratulations, Millie Hammerstein in Croydon) ), and our other three Lower House candidates on numbers between 3 and 4 percent … another impressive result! Well done, Geoff Russell, Louise Pfeiffer and Nick Hancock.
For both houses, it’s not just a matter of getting the deposit back; we also negotiated reimbursement for election advertising.
It is remarkable that we came even close to hitting these targets on our first attempt as a registered party, but even if we didn’t quite get there, we have shown the powerful potential of the party in the future.
We think much of the success is down to the $6,000 we spent on facebook advertising and $3,500 we spent on radio advertising during the last week.
It is also interesting that our vote yesterday didn’t appear to have just come from The Greens, as some might assume.
The Green vote was certainly down in the seats we contested, but it was also down (by similar amounts) in some seats we didn’t contest. Overall, the Green vote looks like being 2% lower than in 2014. The Greens are a mature party, running in all 47 lower house seats. So our vote in just four seats couldn’t account for this drop. It’s clear that we won our vote because we tap into a need that isn’t being met by other parties – not the Greens, not anybody. We are the only party campaigning for animal justice, and there isn’t another party which represents animals as we do.
So it’s a huge thank you to everybody who came out and helped on polling stations, and to those who provided support in other ways. We know that people did a terrific job, and their feedback to us is that they really enjoyed it.
That’s important, because we’ll need you all out again at the Federal election, whenever it is called. And if you did enjoy it, then tell your friends!
The more votes we get the more influence we will have; it’s that simple.