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“Every single player who ran, talked to me at this election”: ‘Preference Whisperer’ Glenn Druery hits back at critics

Glenn Druery, the so-called Preference Whisperer, has hit back at critics who over the weekend slammed him for “playing the game” which has seen multiple minor parties win seats, via preferences, in the Upper House.

Reason Party founder Fiona Patten, who is unlikely to be returned to parliament, hit out at Mr Druery, saying preferences did not help her position.

“Mr Druery looks like making an absolute fortune out of this election,” Ms Patten told The Age.

“I refuse to play the game and called it out … It’s a travesty of the electoral system.

“Basically he [Mr Druery] told me if I paid him money good things would happen, and if I didn’t pay him money, bad things would happen. That is exactly what has happened.”

Ms Patten claimed candidates pay Mr Druery $5000 to have him negotiate preferences for them, and that if they win, that fee skyrockets to $50,000.

Mr Druery would not confirm those numbers to Neil Mitchell, but said all candidates running in the election speak to him about preference deals.

“Every single player who ran in this election, of representative parties that is, talked to me at this election,” Mr Druery said.

“All of them. Even those who say they didn’t, they did.

“Fiona Patten actually did a deal with all of the minor parties involved in my network, all of them.

“If some of the minor parties get elected, it will be on Fiona Patten’s preferences.”

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“One of the things I’m very wary of, which is really the reason that Fiona Patten failed this time, is a terrible thing called ‘very important person syndrome’ or ‘candidates disease’,” he added.

Derryn Hinch also hit out at Ms Patten, saying her comments are hypocritical.

“Fiona Patten, the one who’s bitching most about the preference deals, she was the only person I know who paid Glenn Druery in 2014 to get herself elected,” Hinch told Neil Mitchell.

“None of my candidates paid Glenn Druery one dollar.”

On whether he’s worked with Labor or Liberal, Mr Druery simply said, “some people within minor parties or major parties, are better at negotiating than others”.