26 August 2020

Karen Price the RACGP favourite, but ballot bungle has cost votes

Political RACGP

Some GPs will not vote again for RACGP president after the invalid first ballot, survey data suggests, despite the college’s efforts to restart the process.

Almost 350 GPs were polled on Tuesday evening by Healthed/Pulse following an education event, and were asked: “If you have voted prior to today, do you intend to re-vote because of the technical problems announced by the RACGP?”

And while almost half of the GPs said they remained undecided, surprisingly about 40% said they would not vote again, with only 17% saying they would cast their vote for a second time.

The survey followed last week’s election bungle in which GPs reported ballot papers that wrongly identified them as their colleagues, and passwords that didn’t work. The college began the process again from scratch, and the voting period, which was meant to have closed on 31 August, will now run till 4 September.

Unfortunately, members who successfully cast their vote will have to start the process again, with new ballot papers that arrived in members’ email inboxes early this week.

The small survey reveals at least 150 votes will not be cast for a second time, in an election where the total voting number is usually below 10% of total RACGP membership.

The problems with the election were allegedly due to the RACGP supplying the company contracted to oversee the ballots, the Australian Election Company, with incorrect member data.

Of the survey participants about 230 GPs also answered which of the six presidential candidates they thought was most likely to win the election.

Dr Karen Price took the lead, with 36% of respondents, followed by an equal tie for second favourite between Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda and Dr John Buckley, at 17%.

Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe followed not far behind, at about 14% and both Dr Christopher Irwin and Dr Magdalena Simonis occupied a combined 15% of the survey vote.

But the numbers changed again when 150 GPs revealed who they had either voted for, or intended to vote for.

Dr Karen Price was the choice of 38% of respondents, followed by Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda at 22% and Dr John Buckley, at 19%.

The majority of survey respondents were from Victoria (40%) and NSW (31%), and nearly 60% were from capital cities.

The candidate caricatures were kindly supplied to The Medical Republic by cartoonist Jenner, the working name of Dr Craig Hilton, a Melbourne GP and the author of daily comic strip Doc Rat.

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7 Comments on "Karen Price the RACGP favourite, but ballot bungle has cost votes"

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Dr A Ryan
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Dr A Ryan
1 year 3 months ago
Dear Ms Durham, I totally agree with Dr Isaac regarding your reporting of your survey. Of course you expressed partiality when attaching the headline ” Karen Price the RACGP Favourite” By your own words only 36% of 230 said they would vote for Karen Price, meaning 0.2 percent of the 41 000 RACGP members said they would vote for her. In what world does that make her the RACGP favourite? 1 in 500? I would have thought as well that 230 out of 41000 is pretty small sample group. It is beholden on journalists to report accurately and particularly at… Read more »
Jeremy Knibbs
Admin
1 year 3 months ago
Hi Dr Ryan, You are making several incorrect assumptions and conclusions here: 1. You assume that every member in the RACGP can vote: 41,000 • That is not correct. Only “Fellows and Members and Registrar Associates” can vote. According to the RACGP these categories make only 30,263 of the 41,000 total members, eligible to vote. • Most of the remaining eligible members don’t vote. Voting attracts between 2000 and 4000 eligible voters generally. In a poll like this, you bias generally to those people who DO vote. That makes the sample and response even more likely to end up representative… Read more »
Isaac
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Isaac
1 year 3 months ago

@ FRANCINE CRIMMINS
Your article is a promotion and to favour Dr Price . This is not a good journalism but favouring to one candidate. I think the other candidates should take a notice of this and bring a legal action . This is not good at all Francine !

Dr A Ryan
Guest
Dr A Ryan
1 year 3 months ago

please see my response to your comment.

Penny Durham
Admin
1 year 3 months ago

Dr Isaac, this is a straight report of the results of a survey in which GPs were asked who they would vote for and who they thought would win. It does not express any partiality or preference on the part of The Medical Republic and is not remotely legally actionable. – Editor

DRJN parikh
Guest
DRJN parikh
1 year 3 months ago

How can you work out the favorite or is it marketing misleading exercise

max.kamien@uwa.edu.au
Guest
max.kamien@uwa.edu.au
1 year 3 months ago

I am mystified about why GPs who voted would not vote again. All people and organisations make mistakes. Voting could not be easier and, at the most, takes less than 2 minutes out of our busy lives.

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