The Greens have launched their Victorian election campaign vowing to return Melbourne MP Adam Bandt to the lower house and secure a second Victorian senate seat.
Greens leader Christine Milne said the party can make history again with Mr Bandt being elected and lead Victorian senate candidate Janet Rice joining the team in the upper house.
“We’re certainly going to have Adam Bandt returned in the seat of Melbourne,” Senator Milne said on Saturday.
“I looking forward to Janet Rice coming to Canberra as the new Victorian senator.”
Meanwhile, though, an opinion poll conducted by the Guardian showed the Greens losing support in the inner-city Sydney seat of Grayndler, which Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese holds, undermining any hopes the Greens may hold of voters switching in protest at the major parties’ asylum policies.
The Guardian Lonergan poll, taken on Thursday night, shows the Greens candidate Hall Greenland on 22% of the primary vote, 4 points lower than his 2010 result when he reduced Mr Albanese’s margin to 4.2 per cent.
The poll of 966 voters shows Greenland coming third, well behind the Liberal Cedric Spencer on 28% and Albanese on 47%.
Nationwide polls following leader Bob Brown’s retirement have shown the Greens attracting only 9 per cent, sharply down on the record 13 per cent of the vote that they achieved in 2010 when Adam Bandt won the party its first lower house seat and its upper house representation soared to nine senators.
Former meteorologist Janet Rice hopes to join Richard di Natale, who in 2010 was the first member of the Greens party to be elected to a Victorian senate seat.
The Greens also launched their election television advertisement, “Standing Up for What Matters”.
They will be campaigning strongly on asylum seekers, climate change and university funding.
Mr Bandt, who is also the party’s deputy leader, said the party will be striving to increase their primary vote so they can win the seat without preferences from either of the major parties.
He said published polling indicated they were on track to increase their vote to a point “where it does not matter if the old parties conspire”.
“We had a big boost when Jeff Kennett came out and endorsed my opponent,” Mr Bandt said.
This week former Victorian Liberal premier Jeff Kennett told News Ltd the party should preference the Greens and independents last, even if it meant Labor candidates would win in some cases.
“I’m going to be putting that on my leaflets,” Mr Bandt said.
“When Jeff Kennett says it’s much better we have Labor MPs, you know you must be doing something right.”