Current results for the Griffith by-election indicate that the Pirate Party’s candidate, Melanie Thomas, has secured a very credible fourth place, behind the Liberal Nationals, Labor, and Greens, finishing ahead of all other minor and micro parties. This was Pirate Party Australia’s first attempt at contesting a House of Representatives seat.
“It is encouraging that despite the Labor and Liberal Parties dominating the political arena, an increasing number of voters are willing to break out of the major party duopoly and put their support behind an alternative voice like the Pirate Party,” Ms Thomas commented. “Those voters are sending a powerful message that Australians need someone to stand up for civil and digital liberties, and to protect our country from a range of threats such as warrantless dragnet surveillance, mistreatment of refugees, climate change, governmental secrecy, corruption and cronyism.”
“As more and more Australians see that the Pirate Party is a party backed by a serious platform of evidenced-based policies, we firmly believe that positive inroads can and will be made to stop major parties taking the voting public for granted. We are a party that practices what it preaches and we have shown what a party based on transparency, democracy, and participation can achieve.”
As per the preliminary count as at Sunday evening, Pirate Party Australia has achieved the greatest swing toward any party in the by-election. The current swing of +1.54% to the Pirate Party in Griffith is three times greater than the Party’s result in Queensland for the Senate at the last federal election in September 2013. It also represents a doubling of first preference votes when compared to the Party’s polling in Griffith for that same Senate election, where the Party received 0.7% of the vote.
“The Pirate Party would like to express its sincere thanks to the electorate for its support of Mel. Fourth place is an amazing effort, and everyone who helped reach it should be enormously proud,” said Simon Frew, President of Pirate Party Australia. “We received positive feedback on our policies, which were listed on the back of our how-to-vote cards distributed at polling places around Griffith. It’s also very telling that despite being fairly new, our small dent is much larger than more established and widely known parties like Katter’s Australian Party and Family First.”
The Party will now turn its attention to the formation and registration of state and territory branches.