Assange set on forming political party to snare Senate seat
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange remains committed to standing for the Senate at next year's federal election.
Mr Assange might have been holed up in Ecuador's London Embassy since June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, but it seems it has done nothing to dent his political ambition.
He told Fairfax Media he hoped to announce the formation of a WikiLeaks political party in the new year, with plans to register the party "well advanced".
In March Mr Assange flagged the possibility of a Senate tilt.
Mr Assange's father John Shipton was organising the party's formation, Fairfax reported.
The Australian Electoral Commission requires a party to have 500 members, all of whom must be enrolled to vote, before it can be registered.
An online poll on Fairfax had already attracted more than 17,000 votes, with 73% people indicating they would vote for Mr Assange.
While the poll is hardly scientific, it is indicative of the solid support Mr Assange enjoys in Australia and overseas.
WikiLeaks has more than 1.6 million followers on Twitter and more than 2.1 million "likes" on Facebook.
It's this kind of support Mr Assange is hoping will translate into success at the ballot box.
Victoria and New South Wales appear the most likely targets for Mr Assange, Fairfax reported.
There will be six seats up for grabs in each state in next year's half-Senate election.