I achieved 2236 votes and 2.55% (See AEC Barton results). Before analysis of the results, I need to thank some people.
Thank you to those supporters who put in time and effort. That includes the four volunteers who handed out how-to-vote cards at polling booths. Especially Keith who also created the how-to-vote card and who letter-boxed 4500 flyers for me (which he also created). Even though I wrote on my website that I didn't need any help, other than people recommending me to others in the Barton area, he contacted me and offered to help. And help he did. I was just blown away by how much time, energy and emotion he invested.
Thank you to my wife. As I did not reach 4%, this campaign cost me a $1000 deposit and another $1000 or so worth of flyers (I haven't yet added up the cost). That does not seem like much. But we are a single-income family and have four children, so in that context it is a significant amount. My wife is also a very private person, so having me running an election campaign with controversial proposals wasn't easy for her. But nevertheless, she was supportive and even took the photo that appears on my site.
Thank you to my daughter who photoshopped my photo. Other candidates had their photo fixed, so I needed to keep up.
There were also two community forums to which the candidates were invited. There was the Hurstville Business Chambers event and the Arncliffe Futures Forum event. Thank you to the people who organised the events, to the people that attended and to the people who watched it online. Thank you also to the other candidates who attended. They were Linda Burney, Brent Heber and Harry Tsoukalas who attended both and Sonny Susilo who attended one. There, I felt that the candidates who turned up competed on equal terms. So thank you especially to Linda Burney. She was the major candidate and it's a big deal to me that she gave me those two opportunities to compete with her on equal terms, where the greater resources of the Labor party meant nothing.
Thank you, Brent Heber. There was a point in the campaign where I came to him for advice and he freely gave it.
Thank you to all the people who voted for me. Also, thank you to all the people who read my material and then decided not to vote for me. If you read my material, you gave me a fair go, even if you voted for someone else.
Thank you, Ravind of Minuteman Press Rockdale. Ravind printed material for me at short notice and was prepared to have his business appear on my flyers. The electoral act requires the name and address of the printer on flyers.
A few more words about the results. At Carlton Public School where I was handing out how-to-vote cards, I got 4.11 percent. Two more booths where I had volunteers got over 3%, one more got more than the average and one got below. Of course, it's difficult to cover a whole booth with one volunteer, especially when voters come from all directions. Still, the difference was significant.
One thing in particular did not go well for me. I had 1445 unique visitors to my site for the whole of June and less than 500 for the beginning of July until I checked again after dinner on election day (but who probably overlapped with the June visitors). That was a lot less than I had expected, given that there are about 100000 eligible voters.
It is clear that I overestimated the importance of a website that presents the platform. That means that to achieve good results, I would need to spend a lot more money to get the message in front of people's eyeballs in other ways. I don't expect to be in a position to do that, so the likely outcome of the election is that my career in politics is over.
I don't regret having had a go. It was an interesting and sometimes thrilling experience.