There’s no such thing as a safe seat

I’ve spent the past couple of months working on the ALP election campaign hence my absence. It was an enlightening, exhilarating and at times infuriating experience, which ended with my local MP losing his seat. I’ve had an amazing journey, especially as I was not even a member of the party 3 months ago! But anway, enough of that. Rather than writing a cheesy welcome back article I thought I’d get right into it.

If you’re anything like me, the silver lining from Saturday has been the close contest in the regional Victorian seat of Indi, where Liberal incumbent and nastiest MP award winner Sophie Mirabella is trailing in a close contest with Independent Cathy McGowan. I think it his heartening to know that, for all the lamenting that is done, the average voter is intelligent enough to know their local MP is a dud, and to vote in a fashion they would not normally. Brand Independent was meant to be dead after Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott backed the Gillard minority government. But the voters of Indi have sent a powerful message- even for potential front-benchers, forgetting to serve your electorate is done at your peril. Unable to overcome her nastiness, Mirabella has spent too much time in the sin bin under section 94A of the standing orders and not enough time representing the people of Indi. And whether or not she holds the seat, they have responded in kind.

The outcome might take several days to determine, but a strong reminder has been sent to the major parties, and to individual MPs. Voters aren’t stupid, and they expect decent representation. That is why the people of Greenway rejected Jaymes Diaz, and why such a stinging rebuff has been delivered to Sophie Mirabella.

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