April 16, 2007 | Graham

Santoro bloc collapses

I now have the figures for the Liberal Party senate preselection result and they tend to indicate a complete collapse in the Santoro support base.
In the final ballot Sue Boyce had 142 votes and Bob Quinn 84. While Quinn was supported by Santoro, you can’t count all of those 84 as Santoro bloc.
Without going into the intricacies of the Liberal Party preselection voting system it is exhaustive preferential. There was one other serious candidate in the ballot, Dave Moore. Moore was eliminated in the second last ballot. At that stage he had 54, Quinn 67 and Boyce 108. 34 of Moore’s votes went to Boyce, and 17 to Quinn. Moore is not in the Santoro camp and Quinn would have received votes in his own right.
All of which means that the hard-core Santoro vote has collapsed almost completely. It has to be somewhere less than 67 votes out of 228. As Senate preselections are drawn from all over Queensland – 10 delegates from every federal electorate – this is a reasonably representative sample. So, in reality, at the moment Santoro’s rock-solid support is probably less than a quarter of activists in the total Liberal Party organisation.

Posted by Graham at 9:07 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. The Santo people were “clouding” their numbers with some of their people backing Boyce purely in order to not totally reveal their real numbers. They knew they didn’t have the numbers which is why Powell withdrew.
    It’s important not to read too much into this result. The big test will be over the next party President ballot later in the year at state convention. Watch for a major regrouping.

    Comment by This is not Graham Jaeschke — April 16, 2007 @ 11:59 am

  2. Hmmmm. Why would they try to make themselves look less powerful than they are? Santoro’s power is partly built on the bluff that he can do something to someone, even if he can’t. The victim minimises their risk and does what they are asked to do. Once they’ve done that a couple of times they’ve signed-up for the whole program by course of conduct and force of habit.
    So clouding the numbers doesn’t appear like a smart strategy.

    Comment by Graham Young — April 16, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  3. The Santo Bloc is currently operating on the assumption that the preselection of Boyce will be a pyrrhic victory. They are betting that over the next few months that they will work their arses off to get their numbers up while the non-Santo side rest on their laurels.
    Whilst this process of rebuilding is occurring, they will try to cloud their true status in order to avoid alerting the other side to what is going on. By being seen to back Quinn the Santo people are aiming to portray themselves as “reasonable” and willing to put the party above personal interests (essentially verfied from Powell’s withdrawal media release).
    The non-Santo people need to learn from history here and work hard to keep the Santo people in the minority. The first step to that end would be a total membership audit (particularly of the Young Libs).

    Comment by Still not Graham Jaeschke — April 16, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

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