It’s not the name for a new children’s activity book, but a quest by The Standard to discover more about an elusive candidate for Wannon.
A chair is likely to sit empty at tonight’s candidates’ forum, signifying the spot belonging to little-known Palmer United Party contender Bradley Ferguson.
The free public event at the Lighthouse Theatre from 6.15pm has been organised by The Standard with five of the seven Wannon candidates confirmed as participants.
This newspaper has spent several days trying to track down Mr Ferguson, who lives in Townsville where it’s believed he works for Queensland Nickel — owned by the party’s head, billionaire Clive Palmer.
Mr Palmer’s party has so far failed to release any details about his man for Wannon, leading to speculation that Mr Ferguson could be a so-called Clayton’s candidate — the candidate you have when you’re not having a candidate.
His nomination late last week has allowed the party to claim it has challenged every seat in the nation.
The Palmer United Party (PUP) has deflected all media inquiries to a Queensland-based public relations group which has failed to provide any details or information about the Wannon candidate.
Mr Ferguson was not present at Friday’s Wannon electoral draw carried out by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Nothing but a name appears under Mr Ferguson’s biography on the party website, although intriguingly there is information on almost all other Victorian candidates.
Phone calls to Queensland Nickel this week have also reached dead ends.
A search on career networking site LinkedIn did reveal a Ferguson Bradley whose position description as a “restructure and efficiency officer” matched that of Bradley Ian Ferguson on the AEC list of Wannon candidates.
The Palmer United Party has struggled in a number of seats to field local candidates, including Wannon, Barker and Corangamite.
Last week it was forced to dump Corangamite candidate Buddy Rojek after revelations he was trying to entice male volunteers by promising to bring models to an election night party.
Mr Rojek is now standing as an independent.
Monash University senior political lecturer Dr Nick Economou said the south-west had been dragged into Clive Palmer’s personal war against the Liberal National Party (LNP) in Queensland, which had been the basis for PUP’s founding.
“It’s tells you that the Palmer United Party is a Queensland phenomenon ... they’re not about Victoria or Warrnambool, they’re about a fight with the LNP,” Dr Economou said.
“Clive Palmer is just railing against his own side.”
The academic said the minor parties faced little hope in Victoria and Wannon compared to Queensland where rural dissatisfaction was high with the major parties.
“I see absolutely no reason why the voters in Wannon will want to rebel against the Liberal Party,” he said.
Dr Economou said PUP had little chance of securing a Victorian Senate seat by gaining votes from lower house candidates.