CAUSE OF CONFUSION: Labor candidate for Clarence Trent Gilbert said voters need a better understanding of the preferential voting system.
CAUSE OF CONFUSION: Labor candidate for Clarence Trent Gilbert said voters need a better understanding of the preferential voting system. Nikki Todd

Preferential voting a cause for confusion: Labor

PREFERENCE deals and how-to-vote cards have been a hot topic this election, and one voters need to better "understand", unsuccessful Labor candidate for Clarence Trent Gilbert says.

Mr Gilbert said voters need to understand how preferential voting affected the count.

"It needs to be highlighted that people who voted for Steve Cansdell and the Greens and just voted one and left the rest blank; Chris Gulaptis is back in because of the way they voted, and people need to understand what those un-preferenced votes mean," he said.

"Personally, I'm really angry with Steve Cansdell who advised his voters to just vote one."

"If you look at how SFF worked with other Labor Party members to remove National Party candidates around the state, we had strategised that having Steve in the race would be a benefit to us."

He said it was "clear that wasn't the case" once Mr Cansdell's how-to-vote card came out.

Shooters, Farmers and Fishers candidate Steve Cansdell told the public last week to place incumbent Chris Gulaptis last on the ballot, a move which stirred controversy among the Nationals, saying it gave Labor an upper hand.

Independent candidate Debrah Novak's recommendation was to put her as number one, while Greens candidate Greg Clancy preferenced Ms Novak and Labor.

Ousting a Nationals member was a top priority for Labor, to make Clarence a more marginal seat.

"I would have preferred to get in, but if Steve had have been the member at least we would've removed a Nationals member, but instead we haven't achieved anything at all," Mr Gilbert said.

"Even if we didn't replace the member for Clarence but made it a more marginal seat, but instead it's a safer seat."

Dr Clancy agreed preferential voting was a grey area for the public but did not think the Labor candidate would have had the numbers to win.