The Australian Greens leader is adamant his party won’t be preferencing the Liberals over Labor anywhere in the country.
Richard Di Natale has dismissed reports the minor party is negotiating a preference deal to end Labor’s stranglehold on the Melbourne seat of Batman.
“Ultimately the (branches) will make a decision about whether they want to recommend preferences at all, but we won’t be preferencing the Liberal party anywhere,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.
According to the Herald Sun, the Liberals would preference the Greens in the Labor seats of Batman and Wills and the Greens seat of Melbourne in return for the Greens not preferencing Labor ahead of the Liberals in outer-suburban seats.
Batman is held by Labor numbers man David Feeney who has told the Herald Sun: “The practical effect will be that Batman and Wills will be very close contests.”
Meanwhile, the Greens’ only lower house MP, Adam Bandt, says the party is open to forming a coalition government with Labor.
“We’re up for it and I think you’d want an agreement that delivers a stable and effective and progressive parliament and everyone would have to give a bit,” he told ABC’s Q&A program.
Despite this, the Greens are engaged in a bitter fight with senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese in a bid to wrest the inner-Sydney seat of Grayndler from him after 20 years.