A growing number of Liberal and National party MPs face credible challenges from independents highlighting climate action at the federal election. In six Liberal-held seats – Wentworth, North Sydney, Kooyong, Goldstein and Curtin – they appear to be the main opposition, and in others they hope to at least attract a significant primary vote and potentially influence the outcome through preferences.
This interactive list provides a guide to all of the candidates we have identified who are supported by, or sympathetic to, a “voices of” group in their electorate or have been referred to as teal independents (information as at 13 March).
The criteria for inclusion are that they are either endorsed by the group, or, where “Voices of” groups are not endorsing candidates, the candidate has backed the priorities identified by the group.
These movements are modelled on the original 2013 Voices of Indi campaign that helped Cathy McGowan win the Victorian seat from the Liberals – subsequently won by another independent, Helen Haines. The movement was further invigorated by Zali Steggall’s victory over the former prime minister Tony Abbott in the Sydney seat of Warringah at the 2019 election.
At least 13 lower house candidates and three in the Senate have received donations from Climate 200, founded by the Melbourne philanthropist Simon Holmes à Court, which has raised $7m to support independents who align with its key policy priorities – supporting evidence-based action on climate change, an integrity commission and donation reforms, and gender equality. Some Coalition MPs have mounted a fierce attack on the candidates and Climate 200, claiming their relationship undermines the genuine independence of the challenge.