August 1st, 2008 at 08:49am
I honestly don’t understand the thinking of the powers-that-be in the Labor Party on this one.
By-elections for the federal seats of Mayo and Lyne will be held on September 6.
The polls come as a result of the resignations from parliament of former foreign minister ALEXANDER DOWNER .. and former Nationals leader MARK VAILE.
House of Representatives speaker HARRY JENKINS says he’ll issue writs for the by-elections on Monday .. rolls will close on August 8 .. and nominations close on August 14.
The government will not run a candidate in Mayo .. and is not expected to run one in Lyne.
At last year’s federal election, Labor recorded a rather large swing towards them in Mayo as the AEC results show.
Alexander Downer won the ballot for the Liberal Party with 45,893 votes (51.08%) which was a pretty reasonable distance ahead of the ALP’s Mary Brewerton who received 27,957 votes (31.12%). Admittedly it is quite a gap, however Ms. Brewerton had a swing towards her of 14.63% whilst Mr. Downer had a swing against him of 2.56%. With the swing clearly showing that a large number of people lost confidence in Liberal Party, if you were the Labor Party, wouldn’t you at least try to play the “Alexander Downer ditched you, but we’re here for the long haul” card?
The seat of Lyne is a similar story according to the AEC.
Mark Vaile won for the National Party with 41,319 votes (52.26%), ahead of the Labor Party’s James Langley who managed to receive 25,358 votes (32.07%). The swing wasn’t as exciting as the one in Mayo; Mr. Vaile lost 4.44% and Mr. Langley gained 5.52%, but there is still plenty of votes to gain with the “we respect your decision to vote for us” campaign.
I’m not saying that it would be a definite win for Labor in either of these seats, but surely it’s worth a shot? Or was their 2007 election victory over the coalition and the independents by 83 seats to 65 to 2, giving them a majority of the House of Representatives, enough to make them believe that as long as they have a majority, those who didn’t vote for them last time are of no importance?
At the very least, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of good opinion polls while they’re here and give yourself a shot at having the advantage of incumbency at the next general election?
Oh well, if they want to waste a good opportunity, who am I to try and stop them?