7 April 2022

Zed warns voters of 'extreme green' risk after Pocock polling shock

| Ian Bushnell
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Senator Zed Seselja

Senator Zed Seselja could be vulnerable. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has warned voters against considering a change of government and the risks of a potential Labor-Greens alliance in the wake of new polling that shows his hold on his Senate spot is not as secure as expected.

Two polls released yesterday (6 April) indicate Senator Seselja is facing a tough fight to retain his seat, with both the Greens and former rugby great David Pocock attracting large chunks of the vote.

Senator Seselja said the coming election, due by 21 May, was the most important in a generation and now was not the time for change.

Identifying Mr Pocock as a real threat, Senator Seselja labelled the former Wallaby skipper and climate campaigner an extreme “green independent” candidate.

“It is not the time to risk handing over power to an extreme Labor-Greens-green independent alliance, and make no mistake, Pocock sits on the Extinction Rebellion end of the extreme greens,” he said.

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Senator Seselja said Australia was facing an increasingly complex national security environment, and the economy is still recovering from COVID-19.

“This is not the time to risk the higher taxes and weakened national security of a Labor-Greens-green independent alliance.”

Senator Seselja warned that a vote for any of the independents or the United Australia Party could result in a Greens or Pocock win.

David Pocock

David Pocock: “I want to make politics about people again.” Photo: Michelle Kroll.

But Mr Pocock said he was a pragmatist who wanted to get results on issues that matter to Canberrans.

“I want to make politics about people again and represent a community I love,” he said.

“Clearly, there are a lot of people who want to see politics done better. Talking to Canberrans, we want more integrity in politics and politicians to get on with actually dealing with the big issues we face, rather than politicising issues and not looking beyond the next election.”

Mr Pocock said the only “risk” in voting for him was that Canberrans would get action on things that matter to them.

“As Senator Seselja rightly points out, the next three years will be crucial: crucial for integrity, smart energy transition, dealing with housing affordability and cost of living as well as finally getting more Territory rights,” he said.

The polls show Senator Seselja well short of a quota at this stage of the undeclared campaign, only mustering 24 and 25 per cent of the primary vote in both polls.

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In 2019, Senator Seselja brushed off the Greens’ challenge despite the Liberal vote again dipping below quota, to 32.4 per cent, but there were plenty of preferences to get him home comfortably.

Official wisdom is that it will be almost statistically impossible to shift Senator Seselja, but the polling suggests there is even more antipathy towards the Morrison Government in the ACT than last time, with Mr Pocock taking votes away from both the Liberals and Labor Senator Katy Gallagher, who is set to be re-elected easily.

The Greens’ performance is no surprise, but Mr Pocock’s solid showing adds spice to the contest, which may come down to a preference dogfight.

According to the polls, Mr Pocock is running fourth at 13 per cent and 11 per cent of the redistributed vote close behind the Greens’ Dr Tjinara Goreng Goreng (15%, 14%) but could have momentum to overtake her.

Senator Gallagher (35%, 37%) already looks to have a quota in the bag.

Greens senate candidate Tjanara Goreng Goreng

Greens senate candidate Tjanara Goreng Goreng: best chance ever to unseat Senator Seselja. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

The other independent, lawyer Kim Rubenstein, could manage only 6 and 7 per cent in the polls, while Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party varied from 7 per cent in one poll to 2 per cent in the other.

About 11 per cent of voters were undecided.

Topping the list of voter concerns in both polls was climate change and the environment, followed by the cost of living and integrity in government alternating in second and third place, with the economy running fourth.

While the polls show Senator Seselja below quota, he still has a strong base from which to snare enough preferences to retain his seat.

But the results suggest he may be vulnerable to either the Greens or Mr Pocock, whose climate change and integrity credentials may appeal to disaffected Liberals.

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The Greens have long coveted Senator Seselja’s seat and mounted vigorous campaigns in the last two elections, all to no avail.

But Dr Goreng Goreng said the polls reflected what the Greens had been hearing on the ground and from Labor and Liberal polling, that Senator Seselja was in trouble.

“Canberrans want a voice in the Senate who will represent its progressive values, take urgent action on climate change, expand Medicare and get big money out of politics,” she said.

She said the Greens were happy to see a range of independents talking about issues the Greens have advocated for decades because it increased the chances of defeating Senator Seselja.

“It raises the number of people voting for these issues, which is critical to achieving real action. More broadly, for anyone to unseat the Liberals, their primary vote has to go down, so the more people running and appealing to different voters, the better for everyone,” she said.

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Dr Goreng Goreng said the ACT Greens believed that this was the party’s best chance to be elected to the Senate.

The two polls conducted in late March – an automated phone survey of 1331 voters and computer-assisted telephone interviews with 707 voters – were commissioned by the Climate 200 group, which is backing candidates who support stronger government action on climate change.

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Zed has failed to represent Canberra, it is a fact that we have not received our fair share of the federal purse in recent years.

I listened to David Pocock at the shops the other day, he is not an “extreme green” at all.

I find it interesting the Zed has spent a lot of his campaign time smearing David, and yet David has not once spoke of Zed as he is focused on results.
While Zed is focused on keeping his cushy job.

Time for a change.

Don’t like Zed much, but the Greens/ALP alliance has been horrible for Canberra and it would be horrendous at a Federal level. To see what the ALP/Greens will do just look at the woeful education system in Canberra, not to mention the terrible hospital system and inefficient public transportation. Soft on crime and big on nothing. ALP/greens preach a lot (lots of cute catchy buzzwords), but they fail to deliver anything of substance – they are ‘champagne socialists’ (hypocrites) who should be avoided where possible. They all remind me of Dementia Biden in the USA and the damage he is doing. A true independent candidate (NOT a green person hiding behind the ‘independent’ banner) is the best choice to vote for, if there actually is one!

If you believe the Greens leader Adam Brandt, the Greens will hold the balance of power in the new Government (and that’s scary, given his extreme views).
As for Mr Pocock, he appears to be a Green, running as an “Independent”.

An ALP & Lib result would be the best result for Canberra. A foot in each camp is a safer place to be rather than having a “Green” in the 2nd seat and the instability that could cause.

ilovecanberra6:48 pm 14 Apr 22

Oh no! What if we actually acted to prevent climate change? What horror. The Liberal coal and gas sponsors would be bereft.

Imagine thinking anything we could do locally would impact on climate change.

Agree Chewy. If there is to be any positive change whatsoever in the global environment, China (the main perpetrator of environmental hazard waste) needs to be made to substantially reduce their emissions. In relation to things that Australians can actually and practically do to improve the environment here (and help animal welfare) in Australia, we need more green spaces for animals, more care taken for our oceans and water systems, more recycling, less rubbish and less mask waste (which means people need to stop wearing disposable masks which most often end up in the oceans and also harming and hurting wildlife). The Greens need to actually focus on realistic achievable things that can be done by Australian citizens that will actually make a real difference. As a vegetarian (and strong animal welfare supporter) myself – I find the Greens very offensive (they need to change their name as they are not ‘greens’), and they do absolutely nothing for animals – e.g. they don’t stop live exports, they don’t stop animal cruelty done in the name of ‘religion’ (they even shockingly encourage it!), and they do absolutely nothing for the environment at a local or national level. Any genuine and concerned animal (or environmental) supporter would never vote greens.

Disgusting, unethical flyer delivered to mail boxes today with Zed’s ‘extreme green’ warning. Authorised by Advance Aus Ltd, Level 9, Nishi Building, 2 Philip Law Street, New Acton. http://www.advanceaustralia.org.au
Will Zed disown this low piece of rubbish or own up to it?

Capital Retro10:06 pm 14 Apr 22

Rivals Labor’s phony Mediscare campaigns.

Bigger risk for Canberra is not so much ‘green’ policies as the perception that we are a detached left-wing-but-privileged enclave of doctors’ wives and university academics. We actually do need to vote in at least one liberal for the sake for.perception management if no other reason!

But Zed makes Canberra appear insane and deranged.

Surely we can do better.

Zed doesn’t really stand for Canberra values. At least with Gary Humphries, he was a bit more tolerable.

Zed is correct, a vote for Pocock is a risky vote.

Look at the 2019 ACT Senate results. Independents all up got 10.5%. The greens got another 17.7%.

If you want to kill off Zed permanently, hound him from office, turf him out for being the stain that he is, then the only way to be absolutely sure of doing it is to vote Labor. Nobody else.

Like a stake thru the heart, there’s only one way to be sure that these blood-sucking frauds and liars are exterminated from politics. And it’s to ignore these idiot delusional attention-seeking independents who WILL CHANGE NOTHING. The only way to be SURE is to vote Labor.

Independents have worsened politics in the last 15 years, not made it better. Every incoming government has to waste precious political capital pandering to their marginal ideas, it falls apart with nothing to show for it, and the the media amplifies their focus on failure and the opposition runs them thru.

Better to just stop it all, and keep it deadly simple. Red vs Blue.

A Nonny Mouse5:26 pm 14 Apr 22

OK. Vote Labor. If Gallagher gets more than one quota, only a fraction of your vote is needed to get her in. The unused fraction then goes on to your second preference, who would probably be the second Labor candidate. It that candidate does not have enough support and is eliminated and we don’t get two Labor senators, your fractional vote passes to your third choice. So, who would you rather send your partial support to? Greens, Pocock, Rubinstein or Zed?


This is literally the worst take on the issue I’ve ever seen.

Reward mediocrity and corruption because the major parties should always be in control.

Marc Henry O'Loughlin12:53 pm 10 Apr 22

How presumptuous and arrogant to “warn” voters that now is not the time to change our representative. He has been entirely ineffective and has proved that he cannot fullfil his mandate. It’s imperative that this role be handed to someone that can effect a passion that truly represents the electorate and it’s ever evolving priorities. It’s become a fools defence to brand the Greens and Independents as renegades that are not worthy of serious government. I advise that electing a sitting member that resorts to belittling individuals or parties that are qualified and passionate leaders of our community is not worthy of being in government

Senator Zed has called David Pocock a extreme green.
Mr Pocock has refuted this.

”December 8, 2019 – 12:00AM”
”No kids for David and Emma Pocock as conservation comes first”

”Rugby great David Pocock and wife Emma have revealed they won’t be having children and say that putting their energies into conservation is now more important than becoming parents.”

The actions of a extreme green ?

There are two big questions:
1. Why is Mr Pocock running as an Independent and not as a Green?
My guess is that he wants to distance himself from
the extremism of the Greens. But ideologically, that is where he fits.
2. Would Conservative voters wanting to lodge a protest vote, select a leftist candidate or are they more likely to look for candidate other than Zed, who is still right of centre? I’m sure Pocock will poll well, but I doubt disenfranchised Liberal voters will be rushing to support him. They’ll vote centre-right.

My guess why Pocock isn’t green is because the Greens are a party full of machine men just like the Libs and ALP, with factional games and viciousness at their core. They wouldn’t want Pocock in the team, coz it would make their personal selfish career plans harder. Look at how Waters and Bandt locked up the leadership vote when DiNatale resigned, so that SHY didn’t even get to nominate at caucus. The greens are a political party, with all the nastiness that this fact carries in it.

Capital Retro10:47 am 09 Apr 22

I was drafted for National Service about 55 years ago and without getting into the politics of what it was all about I was prepared to fight for Australia’s values at that time, remembering it was only 20 years after the end of WW2.

A few days ago, a couple of old colleagues of mine who had similar experiences to me discussed the plight of the Ukrainian people and asked if I would “pick up a gun for Australia again” if we were faced with an invasion like what has happened in Ukraine.

After reviewing most of the comments on this thread I decided that no, I wouldn’t bother defending people like the ones who make the most vile comments I have ever seen.

Some of you Zed haters really need to take a good look at yourselves.

So your position is that you would fight for a deeply conservative Australia only, CR?
I ask rhetorically. Australia is [supposed to be] a pluralistic society. If one defends Australia’s values, one does not then pick and choose among the residents.

After 20 years plus of local labor why not they take over federal as well. Then we will have no one to blame for our mess

norminngunnawalcountry3:13 pm 08 Apr 22

Zed is using the label Green as if being green is a bad thing. So sad.
Can someone explain to Zed that being green is a good thing.

Maybe when you are in the top 1%

Capital Retro10:49 am 08 Apr 22

Ian McLeod, if you believe climate change is “human driven”, all we need to do is exterminate half the world’s population, right?

Exactly Retro I mean how could hundreds of billions of tonnes of various gases released into the atmosphere continually for 40 + years possibly have any effect.

Next they’ll be claiming that plastics in the oceans are a problem.

Capital Retro2:04 pm 08 Apr 22

Those “various gasses” have been released into the atmosphere since the earth was formed millions of years ago and at times., they were in bigger volumes than they were for the last 40 years. Just asked the dinosaurs what happened to them.

Plastics in the ocean have nothing to do with natural climate change, by the way.

HiddenDragon7:40 pm 07 Apr 22

Even with his high name recognition in this town, it’s hardly surprising that Pocock is running fourth in current polling because most of this –



is fairly standard Labor/Green/ teal “independent” stuff with a lot of nice-sounding generalities and little in the way of specifics that would give habitual Labor or Liberal voters a compelling reason to change their minds this time.

Noting that more than 30% of ACT government spending is on health (a detail which is set out in the “what your rates fund” info provided with the extortionate annual rates notices) an independent Senate candidate who made it their non-negotiable policy to demand at least a 50% Commonwealth contribution to ACT health costs might get the attention of more pragmatic voters.

The broader campaign for increased Commonwealth health funding is outlined here:


Unlike the Greens, David Pocock is an independent with no baggage of bad decisions and ultra-puritanism. I don’t think that their senate candidate is solid on many issues that Canberrans care about. The Greens have had three chances to unseat Zed previously and have failed each time!

David really has a chance to win.

Zed’s rubbish about ultra Green risk and left of the Greens about David just won’t wash in Canberra. Why do you think Zali Steggal (a Liberal leaning moderate) is supporting David Pocock.

Nor will Zed’s usual Liberal drivel of economy, security etc. work in Canberra. You’ve had nine years Zed and you’ve done nothing except push your ultra right wing religious agenda, while treating Canberrans like fools.

Vote for the Greens or Kim if you like, but make sure you at least vote David Pocock at number two. This is the first and only chance to unseat Zed. And, he’s running scared of David Pocock.

Capital Retro9:47 pm 07 Apr 22

Yeah, Pocock’s decision to break the law at a coal mine was a good decision.

Zed voted against National Integrity Commission every time.
Liberals only pretend to care about the cost of housing.

No integrity, no action on housing affordability, no vote.

When will the Independents and small parties realise that by competing with each other for votes they are diluting it. Time for them to get together and vote as a block otherwise the same bunch will remain in power until they retire.

Interestingly the Federal Liberal Government give the ACT funding because of Senator Seselja. When Labor is in Federal Government they give Canberra nought. What have the Labor representatives in the Federal Parliament given Canberra? Leigh writes books, the others do nothing for the ACT. Open your eyes and you will see Federal Liberals are helping Canberra even though it is a Greens/Labor stronghold. Independents generally do nothing other that hinder good governance. Speaking to some GPs perhaps more funding could be given to GPs who may be able to assist people with some medical issues before there is a need for them to be hospitalised. GPs can prevent many health issues before they become a real problem. Now waiting for hate mail.

Ocumus Prime5:28 pm 07 Apr 22

I hadn’t heard of David Pocock, thanks =)

Zed is completely unrepresentative of Canberra. He belongs in a small, ultra-conservative Christian bubble that is way out of touch with the majority of the community. Worse, he lies about a “Labor-Green Alliance” when he knows there is no such thing federally. I honestly don’t know how a good Christian man can lie straight in bed with the lies he and his party tell.

The Greens are weirdly extreme in the other direction, so woke as to be irrelevant and destructive of good sense and good governance. I yearn for the days when the Greens were just in it for the environment, and played hard and well enough to stay relevant.

So we are left to vote for the Independents. MUST do that to make sure we get rid of Zed. Two reasons:

1) he is unrepresentative of 99% of us and insists on enforcing his minority views on us.

2) Removing the last Coalition seat in the ACT is the only way of convincing this government that they need to provide for Canberra. Only when this Senate seat is at risk they might finally provide fair and appropriate services, infrastructure, funding and rights to the ACT.

VOTE INDEPENDENT! (Rubenstein and Pocock)

James-T-Kirk4:42 pm 07 Apr 22


To be clear – you have done a revolting job of representing the ACT people.

You have done a brilliant job of representing the far right Christian nut jobs – But they don’t vote you in.

See ya!

James-T-Kirk4:37 pm 07 Apr 22

Is it really a ‘Risk’, or is it by design.

See ya Zed!! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Religion will not fix the environment.
Religion only believes in itself.
Science and action is what we need.

swaggieswaggie4:19 pm 07 Apr 22

I just wish Rubenstein and Goreng would both just withdraw and then we can get David home easily. Neither of them have any cut through with the electorate but David will win handsomely without those two diluting the the vote against Zed

ilovecanberra3:45 pm 07 Apr 22

It’s a terrible risk. What if there was effective action on climate change? What if there was no more coal and gas donations to the Liberal Party. The horror!

The Greens in the ACT are already extreme. Judging from comments below, ACT is certainly full of haters. Hatred makes you ill. Calm down and be more circumspect in your language.

Given the consistant inaccuracy of past polls, with their unrepresentative sampling techniques, small sample sizes and biased questions reflecting the motives of those commissioning them, we can safely assume this poll is just as inaccurate and that Zed will be comfortably re-elected.

Capital Retro12:25 pm 07 Apr 22

Wow, the haters are piling on today.

If only they would go to Zed’s website and just see how much he has done/is doing for Canberra they might reconsider some of the false assumptions they have about him.

And these people want to elect someone else who would ban having children if he had the power to?


As always, while I have little doubt we could do significantly better than the current incumbents, there is zero prospect of any significant change in the ACT senate results. It’ll be the same old, same old.

Zed is tarred with the same brush as his Government colleagues. Their behaviour has been appalling, lead by a snake oil salesman who has tarnished the role of PM. About time the job was finished and Zed was feathered and run out of the Senate.

The Greens have a great set of policies with broad appeal this time around. It includes the strong response to climate change that we so desperately need.
The only extreme risk is Zed and the Morrison government continuing to undermine international efforts to reign in emissions and to further delay Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy.

Russell Nankervis9:59 am 07 Apr 22

Zed wouldn’t be throwing so many stones if he didn’t think he might lose this election. Canberrans (myself included) are fed up with our representative voting against our interests and supporting the conservative faction of the Liberals.

Having more people take a stand for issues Canberra cares about is a great thing. The Greens have been pushing for integrity in politics and action of climate change for years. Pocock and Kim both recognise that these are crucial policy platforms that Canberra wants addressed. If I were Zed I would focus on listening to the community instead of rolling out the “Greens boogey man” trope. He looks like Andrew Bolt and that is not a look Canberra likes.

“Extreme green left risk”, says the extreme conservative right senator.

Once again can we just repost these articles from the last 3 elections:

“Polling commissioned by Seselja’s opponents says that he will lose his seat, Canberrans really have shown they want change.”

Two months later:

“Senator Seselja easily elected again.”

True — we have to try harder this time!

Yes the regular shaking of fists and berating of all people who vote Liberal that we see from his opponents will surely convince rusted on voters to change their minds.

RiotACT serving up another fantasy on the demise of Seselja at the Senate election. Previous articles were-
2022 “Greens candidate Tjanara Goreng Goreng says change in Senate is very close”
2021 “New poll suggests Zed’s Senate seat may be vulnerable”
2019 “Poll showing primary collapse puts Zed in danger territory”
2019 “Is this the candidate that could topple Zed”
2018 “Will ACT make next election Judgement Day for coup plotter Zed”
2018 “First poll shows Zed in trouble say Greens”
2016 “Hobbs positive on Greens chances of taking ACT Senate seat”
2016 “Can the Greens push beyond Zed?”
2015 “Threat to Zed is real: Rattenbury”


It really is extremely boring to see these articles uncritically printed time and time again from those who wishfully want Zed gone.

Could we ever perhaps see any form of analysis as to why Zed will almost certainly be reelected? No, of course not.

And I don’t even like Zed nor would ever vote for him.

Capital Retro8:21 am 07 Apr 22

I wasn’t polled and I haven’t met anyone else who was. The numbers polled are very low.

I haven’t heard of this Climate 200 mob either – guess I’m living in a social media free bubble.

In the past, The Greens have had candidates far better than they are fielding this year who failed and I include “independents” Pocock and Rubenstein as Green candidates as their policies are the same.

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