Michael Pilbrow


Labor Party candidate for Goulburn, Michael Pilbrow, has gotten the top spot on the ballot in the upcoming election, but how much of an advantage is having the first name on the ballot?


Being on the top of the ballot paper is traditionally seen as an advantageous spot since many ‘donkey votes’ (ballots that are numbed from top to bottom with little care for who is in that order) could mean more votes, experts even claim it gives a one to two per cent advantage.


However, Zareh Ghazarian, a senior lecturer in politics at Monash University, said being on the top of the ballot is only a tiny advantage.


“Research shows being at the top increases the candidate’s vote by one per cent, so it’s probably not going to make a major difference to who actually wins seats,” he said.


Michael lives in Yass with his wife Lynne, he claims working with community groups is in his DNA. He has set up community-owned cooperatives, volunteered with junior sporting teams and been president of his local business chamber.


Michael has been an Outstanding Business Leader for the Yass Valley, a Local Hero state finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards and is on the national Honour Roll of the Business Council of Cooperatives and Mutuals.



Michael himself seems to be more concerned with working hard to achieve victory rather than having his name at the top of the bill.


“No matter what you are on the ballot, you’ve got to work hard every day up until election day,” he said.


“I’m just happy to be on the ballot.


“I’ve spent a lot of time in the villages of the electorate since some of them feel forgotten so I’ve raised the concerns of the people in the villages and the towns.”


Michael has been doing a lot of work in Wingello which is in the Southern Highlands, just on the border of the Goulburn council area.


“It has a train station so people would love more train services, it’s something I’m hearing about across the electorate.


“Local roads and rail services were really big issues which they are everywhere.


“The coalition promised to transfer 15,000 kms of local roads to state roads and almost none have been transferred.


“Councils were promised a lot of help from the State for the replacement of local roads which hasn’t happened.”


The positioning of the ballot of the Goulburn candidates is:


Labor- Michael Pilbrow

Sustainable Australia Party- Margaret Logan

Liberal- Wendy Tuckerman

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers- Andrew Wood

The Greens- John Gregory Olsen


The State election takes place on Saturday, 25 March.


Jack Murray