Bennelong By-election 2017 (NSW)

Bennelong.  Again, the pollsters had no idea.  Considering all the reasons it might have turned out differently, it was a comfortable hold for the Liberals.

There were two losers.  Firstly, Labor.  Again they brought in an outsider as a "star candidate" and failed.  It simply does not work.  Besides, how could a foreign-born former Premier linked to possibly the worst period of corruption in New South Wales history even get onto the starting boards?  Yet the Labor Party showed the people of Bennelong they thought they knew better.

The other loser, of course, was Cory Bernardi's Australian Conservatives.  As Mark Latham has commented, "I thought the Australian Conservatives vote of 4.3% was disappointing for them, in their first electoral contest.  It is well short of what's needed to win a Senate spot in NSW.  It barely exceeded the Christian Democrats vote of 3.1%.  These two parties fish from the same pond in NSW and should consider merging to become a more effective force."

He continues, "The Trump success in the USA was based not just on his 'outsider' appeal.  He also campaigned hard on distinctive policies that made people take a stand, either for him or against him.  Cory Bernardi, while a capable political organiser, is yet to achieve any policy cut-through with the electorate.  He needs to do more than simply look conservative.  He needs to stand for high-profile policies that 'outsider' voters can relate to.  Bennelong showed his new party is well short of meeting this goal."  []

Of course, Bernardi is not an 'outsider".  He is a disgruntled 'insider'.  He is a Liberal to the core and continues to identify with Liberal policies and causes.  In our humble opinion, he will never be the 'outsider' Mark (and thousands of other sensible Australians) is/are looking for.

The Australian people are tired of being treated as fools.  They want a local candidate who can truly represent the people of the electorate in the Parliament.  They do not want factional candidates brought in from outside, nor do they want candidates chosen by an interstate Party leader who really does not understand the needs or aspirations of the local electorate.

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