The Guardian 21 September, 2005

Greens surge, Iemma sulks

The weekend by-elections in Sydney delivered a big boost in support for the Greens with the party increasing its vote by 11 per cent in Maroubra and 12 per cent in Marrickville.

The Greens gained almost 40% of first preference votes in Marrickville — their highest ever in any state or federal election. This increased to 45% of two party preferred votes, considerably reducing Labor’s margin.

The Greens scored 19% of first preference votes in Maroubra.

Meanwhile, Premier Morris Iemma — who as a NSW minister has voted numerous times to introduce some of the most undemocratic police-state legislation in Australia’s history — accused the Greens of using "ASIO-style" surveillance and stalking tactics during the campaign.

"For a party that professes to be one that’s all about fair play in politics, they’ve really gotten up to a lot of dirty tricks …", said Premier Iemma.

He also claimed the Greens ran a smear campaign based on "personal vilification".

A spokesperson for the Greens responded: "It’s patently ridiculous for the Labor Party in Marrickville to be suggesting these things when they have a history of behaving unethically for decades.

"Morris Iemma should spend less time making up fairytales and more time fixing our trains and public health care system."

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