Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Fourteen Greek Australians – including two via marriage – have nominated for the Victorian Lower House, whilst a further nine have nominated for the Upper House. Of the 14 nominated Lower House candidates, five are with the Australian Labor Party (ALP), three are Liberals, two are with the Australian Christian party, one with Rise Up Australia, one for the People Party Victoria, one independent and one unknown.Of the nine nominated for the Upper House, three are ALP candidates, three are Shooters & Fishers Party candidates, and the remaining three are affiliated with Rise Up Australia, the Democratic Labour Party and the Voice for the West party.In all, Victorian Greek Australian candidates comprise eight different parties, with one independent and one unknown candidate.Of the last opinion polls, newly founded Fairfax Ipsos had the ALP leading the Liberal Party 56 per cent to 44, in two-party preferred stakes, on October 30. Comparatively, the Herald Sun/Galaxy poll also had the ALP in front, although by a smaller four per cent 52 to 48 lead, published two days before the Fairfax Ipsos poll.Lower HouseUndoubtedly, the most hotly contended seat for Greek Victorians is Oakleigh. Currently held by retiring Labor MP Ann Barker since 1999, she lost ground at the 2010 election, winning by a slim 5.1 per cent margin. Three of its four 2014 candidates are Greek Australians, with ALP candidate Steve Dimopoulos, Liberal Candidate Theo Zographos and Victoria’s only declared independent Parashos Kioupelis vying for the Greek stronghold. Neos Kosmos spoke to both major party candidates for the area, earlier in the year, and both stated public transport, and economic growth and job increases as major policy factors. Dimopoulos also flagged health and education, whilst Zographos added community safety as linchpins for their constituency. Out of the remaining 11 seats which feature Greek figures, six are marginal. The five that are safely held are Bulleen, Dandenong, Sandringham, Sydenham and Clarinda.With a 15.1 per cent swing to the Liberal Party, Bulleen has been held by incumbent MP Nicholas Kotsiras since 1999. Kotsiras will not contest this month’s election, with the Greek vote being represented by Australian Christian nominee Eleni Arapoglou. But she will face an uphill battle against current Minister for Planning and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Matthew Guy, who will contest for a Lower House seat having served in Cabinet since 2010, from the Upper House.Dandenong has been held by retiring and incumbent MP John Pandazopoulos since 1992 with his margin standing at 14 per cent after the 2010 election. Liberal candidate Joanna Palatsides will now wave an adopted Greek flag, as she has married into a Greek family. And having a Greek connection in one of Victoria’s most multicultural seats might prove advantageous.Sandringham has been held by Liberal Murray Thompson since 1992, and he won the 2010 election by a comfortable 15.6 per cent. His major party opponent, the ALP’s Christina Zigouris is contesting the seat for the first time.Sydenham was won by the ALP’s Natalie Hutchins by a staggering 11.5 per cent margin, with 2014 contestant Nadia Christofidis the representing newly formed Australian Christian Party. And finally, of the safe seats, Melanie Vassiliou (married to Upper House contestant Peter Vassiliou) from the Rise Up Australia Party, is contesting the ALP’s safely held seat of Clarinda, which has been represented by Hong Lim since 1996. Lim won the 2010 election by a safe 12.4 per cent margin. Vassiliou’s Rise Up Australia party prefaces its policies on an anti-multicultural, anti-Islamic platform, preferring a ‘multinational’ Australia – encompassing people of multiple ethnicities under one umbrella Australian culture. Of the marginal seats being contested by Greek affiliates, three are held by the Liberal Party and three by the ALP.Greek Australian Andrew Katos is one of those Liberal MPs, who currently holds the seat of South Barwon seat, which he won in 2010 by a 4.9 per cent margin. The seat of Prahran is being contested by former Councillor for the City of Stonnington, Steve Stefanopoulos, whose party affiliation, or independence, is not registered on the official Victorian electorate webpage. Prahran is currently held by a 4.7 per cent margin, as is the seat of Melbourne, by Greek Australian Jennifer Kanis, who won it in a 2012 by-election, over the Greens after preferences. She lost the seat by a 3.1 per cent margin to the Greens, on first preferences, and notably the area is the only federally represented Greens seat, held by Adam Bandt.The remaining three marginally held Greek affiliated seats are Niddrie, held by a 4.5 per cent margin by Labor’s Ben Carroll, and being contested by Appollo Yianni; Brunswick held by an ALP lead of 3.6 per cent margin over the Greens, which faces competition from People Power Victoria – No Smart Meters candidate Stella Kariofyllidis, whose party accordingly opposes the mandatory roll-out of wireless smart meters. And finally Bentleigh held by one of the slimmest of margins – 0.9 per cent – by incumbent Liberal Elizabeth Miller, who won the seat in 2010, but is being challenged by Greek Australian ALP candidate Nick Staikos.Upper HouseNine Greek Australians representing the ALP, the Shooters & Fishers Party, Voice for the West party, Rise Up Australia and the Democratic Labour Party, are contesting for the Upper House. The three ALP nominees are Jenny Mikakos (a current member) for the Northern Metropolitan Region, currently represented by two Liberal, two ALP and one Greens MPs; Lee Tarlamis, also a sitting MP, who is re-contesting the South Eastern Metropolitan Region, currently represented by three ALP and two Liberal MPs; and Philip Dalidakis who is contesting the Southern Metropolitan Region, currently represented by three Liberal, one ALP (John lenders) and one Greens MPs.The three Shooters & Fishers Party representatives, Kostandinos Giannikos, Christos Tzelepis and Steven Zoumis, are contesting the Eastern Metropolitan Region – currently represented by three Liberal and two Labor MPs – the Northern Metropolitan Region, and the Southern Metropolitan Region, respectively. The Party’s policies relate to firearms legislation, international treaties and the protection of State rights.Finally, the three remaining candidates are Voice for the West representative Kylie Georgiou contesting the Western Metropolitan Region, currently represented by two Liberal, two ALP and one Greens MPs; Rise Up Australia’s Peter Vassiliou contesting the Southern Metropolitan Region; and Democratic Labour Party candidate Stefan Kos, contesting the Northern Victoria Region, currently represented by two Liberal, two ALP and one National MPs.The Victorian election will be held on November 29.*Figures are according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.