PORTLAND independent senate candidate Darrell Morrison is unlikely to see a $2000 deposit paid for his parliamentary bid again.
The newspaper marketing manager has so far polled only 183 votes, or just 0.01 per cent of the Victorian senate vote.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Mr Morrison said he hadn’t seen the results but conceded his name had been buried under a record number of candidates below the line on the senate ballot.
“I’ve learnt a lot from the campaign and obviously one of the things is to get above the line next time,” Mr Morrison said.
The candidate ran a modest campaign focusing on the compassionate treatment of asylum seekers and supporting small business.
Locally, only 44 votes have come forward for him so far from the electorate of Wannon. Candidates must pay a $2000 deposit to run for a senate seat — twice the amount of lower house candidates — and to get their deposit back from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) must receive at least four per cent of first-preference votes in their division.
“I didn’t do the how-to-vote cards, it was always going to be a long shot,” said the 50-year-old, who was philosophical about the loss.
“That money is probably gone for good but that’s the price you pay for democracy,” he said. “I’ve been lobbied by a lot from interest groups like euthanasia, both for and against, and others like Leadbeater’s possum,” he said.
During the campaign Mr Morrison suggested former prime minister Kevin Rudd and challenger Tony Abbott spend a week living in a detention centre to change their hardline policies.
Mr Morrison’s own policies and personal views included more rail freight, the roll out of “Rolls-Royce” broadband, same-sex unions and less military spending.
Initially trying to sound out interest from the Wikileaks party, Mr Morrison was forced to stand as an independent after his calls to the group went unanswered.
Asked if he would stand again, Mr Morrison said he would consider it after viewing his results and seeing if the incoming senate worked stacked with minor parties.
“I would have to consider it but the short answer is yes. I’ll be waiting to see how it pans out in the next few months,” he said.
Under AEC regulations Mr Morrison was unable to direct preferences.