SHAREHOLDER activist and former Kennett government adviser Stephen Mayne will stand as an independent in the byelection for the state seat of Melbourne.
Mr Mayne, founder of alternative news website Crikey, told the Weekly he would run on an anti-poker machine platform in the July 21 poll.
‘‘I have a Liberal history, but I’m very progressive and will run an anti-pokies platform,’’ he said. ‘‘Both Labor and the Liberals have been pathetic in terms of gaming.
‘‘I will be endorsed by Nick Xenophon and plan to be a Xenophon-style independent in the lower house.’’
South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has campaigned for the federal government to overhaul its gaming regulations.
Mr Mayne said he was confident of attracting a lot of votes in the byelection, which was caused by the resignation of Labor MP Bronwyn Pike.
‘‘I did previously work for the Kennett government and assuming the Liberals don’t stand a candidate in Melbourne that’s 28per cent of voters, based on the last election, looking for a home.
‘‘I’ll certainly be appealing to that type of constituent as a pro-business candidate.’’
Mr Mayne has run in four elections, most recently in the 2010 state poll, without ever winning a seat.
He stood against then-federal treasurer Peter Costello in the seat of Higgins in the 2007 federal election but returned a low vote.
Mr Mayne, a Manningham City councillor, lives outside the Melbourne electorate but said that if elected he would resign as a councillor and move within the seat’s boundaries.
Mr Mayne also volunteers as director of the Shareholders Association, a non-profit organisation which aims to protect and advance the interests of investors, and maintains the subscription news website The Mayne Report.
Mr Mayne said he had a strong association with Melbourne and had spent eight years living in four different homes within the electorate.