Flat White

Upper Hunter: Malcolm loses. Again

23 May 2021

2:47 PM

23 May 2021

2:47 PM

Pro-tip. If you’re going to back an independent candidate, perhaps don’t do it when there are 12 other people lining up for election. The field will be crowded and your chances of getting through to ordinary voters slim.

Malcolm Turnbull has never been particularly good at politics, so he clearly didn’t think of this when swinging his support behind Kirsty O’Connell in the by-election for Upper Hunter.

Instead, he probably thought the Malcolm factor would see her through.

Again, Turnbull got that wrong. At the time of writing, O’Connell was sitting on just over 3,500 votes of more than 41,000 cast.

Turnbull bravely Tweeted last night in praise of O’Connell “You have put the post coal future of the Hunter on the map in a way it hasn’t been before. Proud to have been able to lend a hand.”

Wrong again. The main topic of conversation today isn’t the “post coal future of the Hunter Valley”, but the general uselessness of the Labor Party, state and federal.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay looks set for the tip and, after Labor only scored around 22 per cent of the primary vote, Joel Fitzgibbon will be more outspoken than ever.

Upper Hunter has been a massive endorsement of Gladys Berejiklian — whose majority was on the line — and will have bought a gentle smile to Scott Morrison’s face; Morrison’s and his strategists’.

As for Malcolm, he may be “proud to have been able to lend a hand” — but it’s been a massive defeat for him and his climate strategies.

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