Published on 20.05.2022 | By Mia Pahljina
The 2022 election is around the corner. There has been a decline in the major party vote, speculation that come May we may be in a hung parliament and an influx of female Independents running in safe liberal seats. They have been coined the ‘Teal Independents’ and are not endorsed by any political party. It is likely that they will play are going to vital role in Australia’s 47th parliament.
The teal independents are 19 independents running for the House of Representatives, who are commonly funded by Climate 200, an Australian fund convened by Simon Holmes à Court aiming to advance climate policy. 17 of these candidates are women from impressive professional backgrounds, bringing real life experience to parliament. Fed up with the political climate, they have ventured into the political spotlight because they want internal change and are backed by a surge of community voices.
Their teal campaigning colour: a mix between green and light blue is indicative of their policy priorities– socially progressive toward climate and equality but maintaining elements of economic conservatism. They are united by common policy stances on Climate policy, equality for women, healthcare and political integrity, and wanting anti-corruption and transparency of parliament.
“They are tapping into a perception amongst some Liberal voters that the government isn't doing enough about either of those issues." Antony Green ABC News.
They are running in inner-city small-l liberal seats against mostly male Liberal MP’s in some of Australia’s wealthiest electorates. The independent candidates are seem to be filling a voting void. While these areas are likely never stray as far to vote Labour or Greens, many members of these electorates, feel alienated from the Liberal-National party’s stance toward Climate and other social issues.
Who are these candidates and what do they stand for?
Running against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the seat of Wollongong. Ryan is the former Director of Neurology at the Royal Children’s institute Hospital, with over 150 peer-reviewed publication and also principal investigator in numerous clinical trials.
Running for the seat of Wentworth against Dave Sharma, Allegra Spender began her career as a business analyst at McKinsey, before working for UK Treasury as a policy analyst. She has also done work as the Managing Director at Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd, her mother’s fashion label, while she chaired the Sydney Renewable Power Company. Her latest role was as the CEO of the Australian Business and Community Network. Spender’s decision to run against Sharma in Wentworth is telling of her dissatisfaction with the Liberal party, since she is going against the grain of her family’s strong ties and voting history with the Liberal party.
Former Australian journalist, Daniel is running for Goldstein against liberal incumbent Tim Wilson. Daniel worked with the ABC as a foreign correspondent, reporting on Sierra Leone civil war and the Khmer Rouge tribunal. She was chief of the ABC Washington bureau covering the trump election, ending her position with the ABC IN 2020. She began writing a column for The New Daily, her articles touched on failures of the Morrison government in Climate and integrity.