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ALP accused on polling

November 16 2002
By Gay Alcorn

The Victorian Greens have accused the ALP of so-called push polling in inner Melbourne seats where the Greens believe they have a slim chance of upsetting Labor candidates.

Greens campaign coordinator Gurm Sekhon said numerous people had told the party they had received calls from Auspoll, a marketing research company that has worked for the ALP.

Greens campaign worker Doug Jordan said Auspoll called him on Wednesday night to inquire about the seat of Melbourne, held by Housing Minister Bronwyn Pike. After asking what he thought of the local member and how he intended to vote, the caller put a series of questions about Green policies, Mr Jordan said. They included whether he would change his vote if he knew the Greens would go into coalition with the Liberal Party or whether his vote would change if the Greens gave preferences to the Liberals.

Greens Melbourne candidate Richard Di Natale urged Labor to call off the "dirty tricks".

Push polling is ostensibly legitimate polling, but its real intention is not to seek information but to influence the voter's choice by putting a rival party in a negative light. It is widely condemned.

Labor campaign director David Feeney could not be contacted last night.

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