The Victorian Greens say they’re launching an all out assault to clinch balance of power in both houses of parliament, but will only consider working with a Labor government.
As the Greens officially start their 2014 election campaign by striking the typical confident tones, Victorian leader Greg Barber was eyeing off multiple lower house seats.
“We’ve got a real chance in the (Melbourne) inner city,” he said at the launch in a laneway gallery in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday.
“We’ve already leapfrogged the Liberals in four seats, we did that quite some years ago and in fact Sam Hibbins in Prahran is going to give it a go to leapfrog Labor and knock off the Liberal incumbent.
“That’s what can deliver us the balance of power.
“So in fact we’re targeting both Labor and Liberal seats, city and country in this election, and that’s what will deliver the balance of power.”
One of those seats the Greens will be hotly contesting is Melbourne, where Ellen Sandell will be hoping to emulate her federal counterpart Adam Bandt and wrest control of the seat from Labor.
She said that can be achieved even after the Liberal Party announced this week it will preference the Greens last, labelling them bad for the economy and bad for Victoria.
“We know that the polls show we can win without Liberal preferences, and even potentially get balance of power,” she said.
“We’ve always planned to win without Liberal preferences in our own right, just like Adam Bandt did last year with a 7 per cent swing in his favour.”
Ms Sandell highlighted education, climate change and the creation of a national park in the state’s central highlands as key points of differences to Labor incumbent, Jennifer Kanis.
If the Greens did end up holding the balance of power, Mr Barber ruled out working with a Napthine government.
He said they would be prepared to work conditionally with a Labor government.
“They would need to support our policies, that’s why we’re running, we’re running to get Green policies up and I believe in the next parliament there will be negotiation and compromise to form stable government and deliver the policies we know Victoria want.”
Mr Barber and Ms Sandell were joined by Greens leader Christine Milne at the launch, who told the crowd of about 100 supporters Premier Denis Napthine was a puppet for Prime Minister Tony Abbott.