As we reported earlier, we've finally got confirmation that the Liberal Party will preference Labor over the Greens, and that Labor will return the favour in at least some seats. The agreement will do serious damage to Greens' hopes of snatching some inner-city seats like Batman in Victoria and Grayndler in NSW, so its no surprise that the progressive party is very upset about the news.
Very upset indeed.
Not long after PM Malcolm Turnbull officially announced the deal on Sunday morning, Greens leader Richard Di Natale fronted up for a press conference with the party's Melbourne candidates, and went on the attack. The Senator claimed the two parties were joining to "lock out other independents" and accused Labor leader Bill Shorten of telling "appalling lies".
"The two old parties, coming together, to lock out any competition from more progressive voices, more independent voices. From voices that aren't dominated by those massive corporate donations that flow to the two big old parties," Di Natale said.
"What we know is that this had nothing to do with principle, and everything to do with a dirty deal between the Labor and the Liberal Party."
Di Natale went on to claim that the "lies" included billboards and advertising material circulated by Labor, claiming that the Greens had done a preference deal with the Liberals.
"I have called Bill Shorten today, and I have asked him to take down any of that misleading material, those billboards, the online advertising, the leaflets sent to people, lying about a potential deal," Di Natale said.
"If he has any integrity, he will apologise about those misleading statements."
Since then, Greens voices have taken to television and social media to hammer those sentiments home. Former Greens leader Bob Brown dubbed the alliance 'Laborial'.
LABORIAL vote swapper's! Vote Turnbull, you get Shorten. Vote Shorten, you get Abbott. Vote Greens, & you get genuine Di Natale. Bob Brown— Bob Brown (@BobBrownFndn) June 12, 2016
Melbourne MP Adam Bandt -- who, as Fairfax Media report, was elected in 2010 thanks to preferences from the Liberals -- was also upset and defiant.
Do whatever dirty preference deal you want, ALP & Lib. I won last time you did deal. Other Greens will this time too https://t.co/E1OfCLyJue— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) June 12, 2016
Alex Bhathal, the Greens candidate for Batman, will be one of those most directly affected by the Labor-Liberal deal. She was ranked as a good chance of unseating controversial Labor MP David Feeney, but will now face a steeper challenge. She took a similar tack to Di Natale, criticising Labor's billboards.
As did an advisor to Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.
All other preferences derp aside, having a campaign warchest deep enough to buy billboards and websites that are outright lies must be nice.— Je Suis Paris (@DavidParis) June 12, 2016
Steph Hodgins-May, the candidate for Melbourne Ports, also took aim at Labor.
But perhaps the most direct attack came from Bandt himself, claiming Labor had "sold their soul" by agreeing to terms with the Liberals.