With the Liberals not standing, I've decided to contest the July 21 by-election in the state seat of Melbourne.
It will also be a good dry run for the City of Melbourne elections in October, covering much of the same territory and many of the same issues.
The overlap with council issues is accentuated by the fact that the two frontrunners, Labor candidate Jennifer Kanis and Greens candidate Cathy Oke, are both first term councillors in the City of Melbourne.
Over 42 years, I've had a greater involvement with the state seat of Melbourne than all other Victorian seats, with the exception of Bulleen. Some of this history was explained in this story in the Melbourne Leader in March.
Ted Baillieu delayed the Melbourne by-election for as long as possible, thereby maximising his advantage in the finely balanced Legislative Assembly.
The Greens have come close in the last three elections but this will be their best opportunity because Liberals will not be delivering preferences to the ALP.
Check out the previous results from the state seat of Melbourne on the VEC website for 2010, 2006 and 2002.
Richard di Natale got within 2% in both 2002 and 2006, courtesy of Liberal Party preferences.
However, the Liberal vote jumped to 28% in 2010, so Ted Baillieu's decision to preference the Greens last led to Labor retaining the seat with a 6% two party preferred margin over the Greens.
A tougher line on poker machines is my most important policy platform in the by-election and the candidacy is supported by anti-pokies Senator, Nick Xenophon.
I was bitterly disappointed when Julia Gillard walked away from meaningful pokies reform after being pressed by cynical NSW ALP Right elements, including Craig Thomson and Mark Arbib, into doing her sleazy deal with Peter Slipper to shore up the numbers.
It is appalling that Arbib has since resigned and taken a job with James Packer, who was instrumental in the aggressive campaign by the poker machine industry to nobble the Wilkie reforms.
Both of the major parties have proved ineffective in the Federal and Victorian Parliaments when it comes to poker machine reform.
Indeed, only the Greens are supporting the introduction of $1 maximum bets which was one of the key recommendations of the Productivity Commission.
That said, I'd never met or communicated with Greens candidate Cathy Oke when she put this statement out on June 4:
Oke welcome's Mayne's entry into Melbourne race
Greens candidate for Melbourne Cathy Oke has welcomed news that shareholder activist Stephen Mayne intends to run in the Melbourne By-Election.
"Stephen appears to share my love of Melbourne. It will be good to have him on the campaign trail," Cathy Oke said.
"We may not agree on everything, but I know we see eye to eye on a lot of issues like pokies, climate change and human rights. I am looking forward to a vigorous debate with him and the other candidates."
"The old parties are out of touch. Ted Baillieu is a disappointment and Labor has been AWOL so the community is looking for leadership on the big issues."
"Like the Greens, Stephen wants to be an alternative voice for Melbourne and I like that."
Links to media coverage and polls
Meanwhile, here are links to some of the media coverage on our by-election campaign:
Melbourne Leader on announcement
Moonee Valley Weekly on announcement
ABC online on announcement
Moonee Valley Weekly on pokies debate
Melbourne Times on pokies and preferences
Gary Morgan poll predicting 7% primary and Green win
Moonee Valley Weekly on pokies negotiations and Morgan poll
Melbourne Weekly reports $1 bet preferences offer to Labor
Sunday Age profile about Manningham
Melbourne Weekly Eastern on tweets
Bruce Guthrie's Sunday Age column on Melbourne campaign
ALP dirt sheet distributed in East Melbourne and Docklands
Crikey breaks story on ALP dirt sheet
Moonee Valley Weekly on ALP preference snub
Melbourne Times on ALP deal with Sex Party
Interview with Jon Faine on ALP dirt sheet, plus ALP boss condemns tactic
Comprehensive New Matilda piece on by-election campaign
Bill Shorten's mate claims I produced dirt sheet
Sunday Age story on VEC investigation into Labor dirt sheet
Mayne Report email edition
Daniel Andrews slams dirt sheet then repeats allegations on Fran Kelly
The Age on Labor's botched "grubby deals" attack on the Greens
The Australian's John Ferguson belatedly covers by-election
Crikey story on Melbourne preference dealings and ALP own goals
Crikey tips and rumours item about ABC ban
Heather Ewart story on 7.30 about by-election
Mayne Report email edition
Q&A with Melbourne Weekly
ReachTel poll in The Australian has vote at 4.3%
AFR story on carbon compo boosting pokies revenue
Radio National Breakfast story on minor candidates
Interviewed on ABC News24 Breakfast about by-election
Panel debate with Jon Faine from Victoria Markets
Mayne Report post-election wrap
Andrew Crook by-election wrap in Crikey
Crikey story on potential Greens-Liberal preference deals in 2013
Crikey story on outcome of Labor preference acrobatics
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