Rugby great David Pocock on his plan to turn Canberra teal into Senate

And like other teal independents, Pocock nominates a federal ICAC and stronger action to fight climate change as key issues.

But there is more than that: “housing affordability and the cost of living are above that. Equality and security, defense and national security – making sure we invest in defense properly, get the right equipment and there is no political interference” are also policy issues.

Rugby player David Pocock at a Stop Adani Coal Mine protest on the lawns of Parliament House in 2019.

Rugby player David Pocock at a Stop Adani Coal Mine protest on the lawns of Parliament House in 2019.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

He is also an advocate for a federal law that would prevent the repeal of the ACT establishing the right to die, a position deeply at odds with Liberal Senator and Pacific Secretary Zed Seselja.

And in a city that usually misses out on its fair share of federal infrastructure spending because of safe Labor tendencies, he’s outlined a big vision for a football stadium in central Canberra — sparking promises from Seselja and Labor’s finance spokeswoman, Katy Gallagher, for delinquent upgrades to the suburban Viking Park and AIS Arena.


Jaded Canberrans may not wonder whether the major parties have promised more in the past four weeks than they have in the past 40 years.

But can he actually win a quota in the two-person ACT Senate race, which requires a 33.3 percent quota?

Redbridge polls commissioned by Pocock have been leaked to the United States with metronomic regularity Canberra Times and it suggests that a victory for Pocock – who would rely on getting votes from both Labor and Liberals – was possible.

The most recent figures, April 23-24, had Gallagher with 27 percent of the vote (8 points less), Seselja unchanged at 25 percent, the Greens at 11 percent and Pocock’s vote nearly doubled from 11 to 21 percent.


Extraordinarily, ACT Labor’s chief minister, Andrew Barr, intervened in the debate last week, urging Canberrans to put Gallagher and Pocock – not the Greens, with whom Labor rules at the area level – in second place.

And if he doesn’t win?

Pocock gives the ultimate answer from the non-politician – he hasn’t really thought about it.

“There are plenty of things I’m interested in. I’ll find another way to contribute — I’ll break through with something else.”

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