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The Greens Are Using Grindr To Try And Win Votes And Labor’s Very Angry About It

Nananananana Batman.

One of the more interesting contests of this election campaign is the battle between the Greens and Labor for the seat of Batman (definitely the seat with the best name) in Melbourne.

The re-election campaign of the sitting Labor MP, David Feeney, got off to a rough start when it emerged he had forgotten to declare to the Parliament that he owned a $2.3 million investment property. Then he accidentally leaked secret Labor briefing notes. Then it turned out his tenants were voting for the Greens. It’s fair to say he isn’t having the best campaign.

The combination of Feeney’s gaffes and demographic change has the Greens smelling blood. They came within 10 percent of winning the seat at the last election and are pouring significant resources into Batman to try and claim victory this time around. A Greens commissioned poll suggests the party has a strong chance of winning the seat.

The Greens candidate for Batman, Alex Bhathal, has recently started using ads on the gay social network app Grindr to try and get an edge in the campaign.

The ads target David Feeney’s record on marriage equality, claiming he has “never voted in support” of it. It’s a smart way to target a particular demographic and if the election is close, it could help push Bhathal and the Greens over the line. But the Labor party is furious. Senator Penny Wong took to Twitter to defend Feeney, declaring the Greens ad was a “dirty trick” and that Feeney was a “strong ally on marriage equality”.

According to the They Vote For You website, which collates politicians’ votes, Feeney has voted against legislation or motions in favour of marriage equality eight times. In 2013 he voted against a Greens bill that would have recognised overseas same-sex marriages, even though a Liberal Senator crossed the floor to support it.

Feeney told The Australian that he has supported marriage equality since 2011, though he declined to explain why he voted against it in Parliament. He reiterated Labor’s promise that a Bill Shorten led government would implement marriage equality in its first 100 days.

It’s not the first time the Greens have used Grindr to try win an election. Back in 2014 they successfully deployed Grindr ads as part of their strategy for winning the Victorian state seat of Prahran.

Batman is the best chance the Greens have of picking up a seat in the House of Representatives at this year’s election. The latest fracas shows that even if there are only four days to go until the election, it looks like the seat will go right down to the bitter end.