December Members Update
The ACP Committee wishes all of you a wonderful holiday season! It has been a huge year for us and we hope a great one for you
If you are still wondering what to buy your cycling mates, why not consider an Australian Cyclists Party jersey? We have them in stock and will do everything we can to get them to you quickly! For sizing we recommend going one step up from what you would normally order. Jerseys are $75 plus postage or may be picked up if you live in Sydney. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest!
Victoria – The Final Results
In our first election and only months after registering in Victoria, 20,699 votes were cast for a Bicycle Friendly Victoria on 29th November 2014. We did not win a seat but it was a solid start and surprised many on how well we did on our debut. Our presence will have raised the profile of our issues and indicated that cyclists are ready to vote for better outcomes. In close elections we can also make a difference to the other parties.
The Australian Cyclists Party stood 17 candidates with at least two candidates in each upper house seat. Victoria has eight upper house regions. Campaigning was concentrated in Southern Metropolitan Region, where ACP candidates, led by Richard Bowen, received 4,749 votes, or 1.15%. The ACP printed how-to-vote cards only for this electorate and covered approximately one third of the booths for all or part of the day.
Around 20% of voters in Southern Metro put a minor party first (i.e. not Greens, ALP nor Liberal). This is more than enough to elect one minor party candidate, but preferences were divided between “religious right” and “progressive” parties, so the final result was three liberal, one ALP and one Green winning a seat. Nevertheless, the ACP received more votes than Palmer United, Voluntary Euthanasia, Australian Christians, Family First, Shooters & Fishers, People Power, Rise Up and Country Alliance. Most of them experienced parties with significant resources. Minor parties receiving more votes than us were the Liberal Democrats, Sex Party, DLP, Animal Justice.
During the 19 days of active campaigning, a website specifically for Victoria was set up and was seen by 1,982 people (unique visitors, google analytics) before the election. An additional 4,801 people (unique visitors) viewed the national website, of whom 658 viewed the “Victoria” page, 1,739 viewed the “policy-options” page.
What did we learn from our first contest?
If we had doubled our vote in our target region to just over 2% of the total, we would likely have won one of the five seats. This we believe is achievable and now within reach for the next election.
We depend on having great candidates – and in Victoria we had them! There were many wonderful people in Victoria ready to put themselves forward to help but that too takes time to organise.
Volunteers matter a lot. Where we had volunteers at polling places we did much better than unattended ones. This requires a lot of volunteers, and for subsequent elections we will need the support of many more which means it is essential that we have more people and groups engaged to help us.
We don’t need a lot of campaign money, but we do need enough to cover basic costs and the earlier that is secured the more we can focus on engagement efforts. Other parties already have well established donor relationships, ours is still forming.
NSW Campaign Gets Started
Our focus has moved to NSW and the elections only three months away! Our intent is to contest to secure at least one of the 21 Upper House seats. With a state-wide rather than regional approach, it is all about having enough primary votes and less about preferences than Victoria.
In January we will be making an official call-out for individuals and volunteers to help us in their community. We will need all of our NSW members to do whatever they can to help. We already know some members from Vic are even willing to come up and help.
Call for NSW Candidates
Are you ready to help us by being a candidate? We have begun recruiting for up to 21 Upper House candidates and are looking for those who are passionate about ensuring a better outcome for cyclists. We will need 15 candidates to be able to offer a group ticket to elevate our chances. Even if you don’t see yourself being in Parliament, being one of the ACP candidates can help us create a stronger ticket. The application process can be found here or contact us at email@example.com
Cycling Coalition of Australia
A clear gap for us and other groups pressing for improved cycling outcomes is a facility to easily work together. We think it is time for like-minded groups across all facets of cycling and online or off to collaborate. Cycle.org and the Australian Cyclists Party have therefore decided to initiate the Cycling Coalition and have opened it to other organisations to help take part. This also includes non-cycling specific organisations in other fields such as health or public transport. For more information please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have created a new funding drive to help finance the next stage of our efforts. We have a goal of $3500. If you can help us with any size donation that would be great – the link is here.
If you would like to help us spread the word by printing off ACP information cards to distribute, please click here.
Finally, thank you for your support! Without your membership and encouragement over the last year our party would have been unable to get this far. Thanks especially to our volunteers and candidates in Victoria! You gave us a tremendous boost.
We always appreciate feedback from our members – whether a suggestion for improving our approach or our communications. Write to us at email@example.com