The Greens Are Very Mad About 'Dirty' Liberal-Labor Preference Deal

'This is a day they have sold their soul,' says Adam Bandt.

12/06/2016 5:31 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
Fairfax Media
Richard Di Natale and the Greens parliamentarians, at the party's National Conference in May.

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.

The Labor ads, warning of a Liberal-Greens agreement

"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'.

Melbourne MP Adam Bandt -- who, as Fairfax Media report, was elected in 2010 thanks to preferences from the Liberals -- was also upset and defiant.

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.

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.

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