A poll last month found that 26 percent of Australians were likely to vote for Julian Assange, who has announced his intention to run for a seat in the country’s Senate, and his WikiLeaks Party. The results suggest that the WikiLeaks website founder stands a viable chance of being elected.

Assange is running for one of six seats in the state of Victoria, where he has 23 percent support. Although these numbers seem paltry, Australia’s compulsory preferential voting system means that candidates must secure only one-sixth of the votes cast in order to win their seat. Once contenders have gotten that many votes, any more marked for them will go to the voter’s next preference.

Assange’s support base in Australia is varied and vocal, but if he or other WikiLeaks Party members stand a chance of winning in the September election, they must be listed high in the preferences of many mainstream voters. It’s too early to tell who will be getting support from these secondary ballots, but it seems Assange’s best chances are from Labor Party and Green Party voters.

— Posted by Christian Neumeister

The Sydney Morning Herald:

UMR [Research] managing director John Utting said that while he expected the eventual vote for Mr Assange and WikiLeaks will be significantly lower than the latest figures, the polling ”clearly shows the potential of what [Mr Assange] can do.”

”If he runs a clever campaign he will have a good chance of winning the last, sixth Senate seats,” Mr Utting said.

The WikiLeaks party is yet to announce which candidates will run in the Senate spots in NSW and Western Australia as well as the running mate for Julian Assange, who has announced he will run for the Senate in Victoria from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

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