6 News Australia
Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud makes false claim about preferences & voting in paid ad
Misinformation & disinformation about the electoral system has spread online for months.
A paid ad from Nationals Deputy Leader David Littleproud has made a claim that appears to disregard Australia’s preferential voting system, as misinformation & disinformation continues to spread online ahead of the May 21 election.
The ad, paid for by Littleproud, showed what appeared to be the how-to-vote card from UAP candidate Nathan McDonald.
The card recommended voters preference UAP first, ALP fifth & the LNP sixth.
If a voter followed that exactly, their preferences would flow to Labor ahead of the Liberal-National Party.
“(Clive) Palmer preferences Labor above the LNP,” part of the ad reads.
“A vote for a minor party is a vote for Albanese.”
The description also says: “WARNING: A vote for a minor party in Maranoa is a vote for Albanese. It’s your vote don’t risk it!”
That is false.
The candidates running in Maranoa this year are the following (in ballot paper order):
David Littleproud (LNP)
Malcolm J Richardson (SFF)
Dave Kerrigan (ALP)
Nathan McDonald (UAP)
Ellisa Parker (GRN)
Mike Kelly (PHON)
Brett James Tunbridge (AFP)
To say any of them are a “vote for Albanese” (with the exception of Dave Kerrigan, of course) is false.
If you, for the sake of the argument, included The Greens as a “vote for Albanese” - because they may back the ALP in the event of a hung parliament - the claim would still be false, as it said “minor party,” not a specific party.
It's also very possible that United Australia Party & One Nation candidates would back the Coalition if there was a hung parliament if they were elected.
6 News discovered that the ad was first run by Facebook on May 8, and was also posted to Littleproud’s page.
As of publication, the ad is still active on both Facebook & Instagram.
Publicly-available data shows the ad has an estimated audience size of 100K-500K people, with around 5K impressions so far.
Over $100 was spent, but the exact amount is currently unknown.
Littleproud’s own how-to-vote card recommended preferencing One Nation second, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers third & UAP fourth.
The Australian Federation Party is fifth, Labor sixth & The Greens last place in seventh.
In Australia, voters choose preferences - not parties - and a how-to-vote card is nothing more than a recommendation.
If a voter chose to vote for a minor party - such as the UAP - and put Labor last on their ballot paper, they would not be voting for the latter.
In fact, their preferences may flow to David Littleproud & the LNP.
Check out the latest impartial coverage of the 2022 Federal Election here.
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