The Australian Greens will suffer at the ballot box because the party doesn’t have the same appeal it had with former leader Bob Brown, senior government frontbencher Anthony Albanese says.
Mr Albanese says Dr Brown’s absence will have a real impact on the Green’s vote at the next federal election, due to be held by November 30.
Dr Brown resigned as Greens leader in April 2012 and Christine Milne was installed as the party’s head.
‘‘People will understand that when they vote for the Greens party, they’re voting for people who are very often at the fringe of politics rather than someone like Bob Brown, who I think, has some mainstream appeal,’’ Mr Albanese told ABC TV on Monday night.
The transport minister also denied the Labor brand was toxic in NSW and said federal Labor had stood up well in the last poll.
He said voters in his inner-Sydney electorate of Grayndler were unlikely to repeat their performance at the 2010 federal election when his formerly safe seat became marginal.
Mr Albanese’s margin of 24.93 per cent dropped to 4.23 per cent over Greens candidate Sam Byrne - whose primary vote catapulted him past the Liberal candidate in the seat Mr Albanese has held since 1996.
‘‘I would expect we’ll return to normal, and the Coalition will finish second in my electorate,’’ Mr Albanese said.
In the 2011 NSW state election, the 16-year Labor government was booted from office with a swing about 16 per cent to the Coalition.
Mr Albanese acknowledged the party had ‘‘issues’’ in NSW. ‘‘(But) at the last election we stood extremely well here in my home state,’’ he said.
‘‘People do draw a distinction between the different levels of government.’’
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott began campaigning in Auburn in Sydney on Sunday. The Coalition are targeting several seats in western Sydney where there are three of Australia’s 10 most marginal electorates - Lindsay, Greenway and Reid.