Eric Dearricott, leader of the Independent faction and member of the Admin Committee, offers this analysis of the results of the Wills preselection:
We can be pleased that there was a local member plebiscite as part of the process to select the candidate to replace Kelvin Thompson in Wills and that, at least in the local vote, the principle of the secret ballot was observed.
Beyond that, the stability pact reduced this pre-selection, as it has with almost all other recent pre-selections, to a mere shadow of the democratic process Victorian pre-selections once were.
Under the stability pact agreement Wills was allocated to the Right. Whoever the Right anointed as their preferred candidate all Public Office Selection Committee (POSC) members tied to the Shortcons or to the Left would be bound to vote for that candidate. Consequently 5 candidates connected to the Right (Peter Khalil, Mehmet Tillem, Anna-Maria Arabia, Lambros Tapinos and Meghan Hopper) nominated along with one non-aligned (Josh Funder). No one from the Left nominated because Wills had been given to the Right.
The outcome of the local vote on primaries was: Khalil 224, Tillem 151, Arabia 142, Funder 94, Tapinos 51 and Hopper 32. Around 190 votes of Peter Khalil’s 224 votes were delivered in a block to him by virtue of a deal brokered with local sub-factional chieftains.
On Wednesday afternoon Shortcon POSC members met and decided that Khalil would be their anointed candidate. All other candidates of the Right were required to withdraw which they obligingly did.
This meant only Peter Khalil and non-aligned Josh Funder went before the POSC.
In an embarrassment for the Right the distribution of the preferences of the candidates who had withdrawn placed Funder on 332 votes ahead of Khalil 315 in the local count. No matter: at the POSC (which has under the rules has equal weighting with the local vote) all but the 3 Independent members were bound by the Stability Pact. The vote of its 100 members: 92 Khalil, 3 Funder with 4 informal converted the outcome into the clear pre-selection of Peter Khalil.
- Eric Dearricott