Monday, June 30, 2008

Memo to Mr Brumby: take Kororoit's lesson to heart

...The state seat of Kororoit, in Melbourne's west, presents a more complex picture. It, too, was regarded as a safe seat — in this case, for the ALP — and did not change hands. But a high-profile independent candidate, youth worker Les Twentyman, gained more than 20% of the primary vote, forcing Labor's Marlene Kairouz to rely on his preferences to secure her election. The swing against the ALP — almost 13% of the primary vote, in a seat that a year ago it would have taken for granted — must discomfit the Brumby Government.

Mr Twentyman has said that the result means Kororoit is now a marginal seat. That is not quite true, because it is not obvious that a Liberal candidate could repeat his achievement. What Mr Twentyman has done, however, is demonstrate that in a seat like Kororoit a left-leaning independent, campaigning strongly on community issues, can knock a hefty dent in Labor's majority and might win the seat on a future occasion. This outcome should warn all parties that the era of rusted-on voter loyalties is past...

Read the whole article here -

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