Why an Independent?
A community Independent can represent their electorate directly, they are not contstrained by the factions and dealmaking of powerbrokers in political parties.
They will not say one thing in public while voting differently in parliament. Every vote is a conscience vote.
They keep intouch with the views of their electorate and represent them honestly and directly in parliament. Their first loyalty is to their electorate, not to their political party.
How do preferences work?
In Australia's preferential voting system, voters number the candidates in the order that they prefer them. Voters get to put someone first, and someone last, and everyone else in between.
The votes are counted in rounds. Round 1 counts all the first preferences. This is called the Primary vote.
In Round 2, the weakest candidate is removed and their votes are reallocated according to their voters' second preferences.
Rounds 2, 3, 4 .... continue in the same way with the weakest candidate removed and their votes reallocated according to the preferences.
The number of rounds depends on the number of candidates. The counting continues till only two candidates are left.
The final tally is called the Two Party Preferred vote.
In the 2019 election in Bradfield, the Liberals got 60% of the Primary vote. After counting preferences, their Two Party Preferred vote was 67%, and more than half the additional votes they got came from Greens preferences.
Will an Independent split the vote?
No, voting for an Independent cannot split the vote.
Under Australia's preferential voting system, votes are not divided between alternates in an either/or way. If your first choice candidate doesn't win the first count, your vote is not lost, it gets allocated to your second choice. In effect, you get many votes - as many votes as there are candidates.