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Gladys Liu Unsuccesful in Bid for Pre-Selection

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Gladys Liu is a member of the Liberal Party and previous representative for the Division of Chisholm. In June 2022, following the Australian Federal Election, Ms. Liu confirmed her nomination for Liberal Party pre-selection to contest an Upper House Seat in the North-East Metropolitan Region in Victoria. Ms. Liu was unsuccessful in this bid, losing to former Liberal staffer, Nick McGowan.

Gladys Liu sitting in the parliament chamber foregrounded by the text "Gladys Liu"

Allegations of Foreign Interference

Ms. Liu had previously denied any association to the Chinese Communist Party but had confirmed herself an honorary member of the Guangdong provincial chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association from 2003 to 2015. During this time the association served as an "arm of the Chinese government's central political and administrative body."

Election Advertising Designed To Look Like Australian Electoral Commission Signs

During the 2019 Australian Federal Election Campaign, Liberal Party election advertising signs were displayed in the Victorian seats of Chisholm and Kooyong, then-held by Ms. Liu and Josh Frydenburg. Labor lodged a formal complaint with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) regarding the signs,

The signs were written in traditional Chinese characters and utilised purple and white, the same branding colours as the AEC. Fine print at the bottom of the signs noted that they were authorised by Simon Frost for the Liberal Party's Victoria division.

The Chinese-writing of the signs informed voters the correct way to vote is to put a “1” next to the Liberal candidate and to then number the rest of the boxes from lowest to highest.

Both Mr. Frydenburg and Ms. Liu won their seats in the 2019 election, with Ms. Liu conceding that if only 546 voters in the seat of Chisholm had voted for her Labor opponent, Jennifer Yang, Ms. Yang would have won instead.

Following their election victories and challenges against the validity of the signs, Ms. Liu and Mr. Frydenberg later admitted in their responses that the signs instructed voters that the “correct” or “right” way to vote was indeed to put a 1 next to the Liberal party candidate. They collectively claimed that Mr. Frost "intended" for the signs to say "to make your vote count put a 1 next to the Liberal candidate.” They also admitted that the translation which was used on the signs actually meant “correct way to vote”, or “the right way to vote”. Both denied that the signs affected the results of their respective elections.

In November, 6 months after the election, Mr. Frost, who authorised the signs, admitted in court that the signs "were designed to look like official Australian Electoral Commission signage."

Sources & Further Reading

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