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Gay candidates tied in lead for Sydney by-election

Poll shows independent Alex Greenwich and Liberal Shayne Mallard both at 31% of the vote, if the election for Sydney MP was called now
Alex Greenwich, independent candidate for MP for Sydney, and his team

Former marriage equality campaigner Alex Greenwich is neck-and-neck with another gay candidate, Shayne Mallard, in the campaign for the Sydney by-election.

The poll comissioned by Greenwich shows his first foray into politics is off to a promising start, after recieving a full endorsement from former Sydney MP Clover Moore.

The results of the poll show that Greenwich, standing as an independent, and the Liberal party's Mallard would both get 31% of the primary vote, with Greens candidate Chris Harris trailing at 25%.

The Australian Labor Party decided not to pool a candidate in this election, fearing it would further split the left-leaning vote, giving advantage to the Liberals.

With the by-election not until 27 October there's plenty of time for the breakdown of votes to change, but ABC election analyst Antony Green told Sydney Morning Herald Greenwich was probably the favorite.

Green added that the ReachTEL poll should be treated with caution due to the small sample size (422) and the method used (home telephone calls) as many voters in the inner city electorate do not have landline phones at home.

Greenwich's campaign was further bouyed by endorsments from two former Australian Marriage Equality contacts, Professor Kerryn Phelps, president of the Australiasian Integrative Medicine Association and her partner Jackie Stricker-Phelps. They said:

'We have seen first hand how effective Alex is in advocating for our community and delivering results. He is a compassionate, tenacious advocate for justice, he has a clear understanding of the issues that affect communities and small businesses and works effectively with all sides of politics.'

Shayne Mallard, who is intends to marry his Danish boyfriend in Denmark next year and supports same-sex marriage in Australia, has been a City of Sydney Councillor for 12 years.

Mallard's election platform includes 'protecting local heritage', 'ensuring that we protect our open space for future generations', 'improved road and transport infrastructure' and 'prevention of violent crime and anti-social behaviour'.

Sydney Morning Herald also reported that Mallard has by far the largest election campaign budget, $200,000 (Australian dollars, $206,000, €160,000), compared to Harris' $110,000 and Greenwich's $90,000. 

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