THEY may not see eye-to-eye on many things, but John Cobb and Jess Jennings have found one surprising piece of common ground during the election campaign.
The representatives of both major parties have delivered an electoral sledgehammer to perhaps the most minor of their minor party rivals, both preferencing Australia First’s Peter Schultze last on their how-to-vote flyers.
It’s a move unlikely to impact the result of next Saturday's election, but one that has raised at least a few eyebrows at Bathurst’s pre-polling centre on Bentinck Street.
However, one person who said he wasn’t surprised was Mr Schultze himself.
“No, I wasn’t surprised - they’re a two-headed snake,” he said, referring the The Nationals’ incumbent Mr Cobb and his Labor rival Dr Jennings.
“I pretty much expected it, though I did think the Nationals might put The Greens last.
“The thing is, I’m part of a nationalist party and I guess they don’t agree with the party’s views on a number of things, but they’re not looking at me as an individual candidate.”
Mr Schultze, a heavy vehicle mechanic by trade, said he was born in Penrith but has lived in Windradyne for the past 18 months.
He rejected suggestions that the proudly parochial Australia First - whose website includes the motto “Identity, Independence, Freedom” - was an inherently racist party.
“It’s not a racist party, it’s a national party,” he said. “People seem quick to use the word racist when something doesn't suit their globalised agenda.”
For the record, Mr Schultze has preferenced neither Mr Cobb nor Dr Jennings last on his how-to-vote material, instead handing that honour to The Greens’ David Mallard.
Mr Schultze welcomed the large field of minor parties on the Calare ballot, saying it was not in Calare’s best interest to elect a candidate from the "major parties or their puppets [The Nationals]”.