Seat Watch - Wentworth

Quick quiz - when the voters of Wentworth cast their vote in the '01 Federal election, did they vote for Peter King, or did they vote for the Liberal Party? It's a trick question. Of course it was the Liberal brand they voted for. Most of them had never heard of Peter King. So what would have changed between then and now?

The media seem to be getting itself in a collective lather over the prospect of the Liberals losing one of the jewels in the crown. The candidate is millionaire-republican-merchant-banker-Sydney-man-about-town - no it's not Rene Rivkin - Malcolm Turnbull. Reality is that Turnbull's a shoo-in, and nothing will change that.

Even assuming a three cornered contest, between Liberals, ALP and Independent King, the seat would still stay with the Libs.

It's David Patch!Malcolm in the MiddleThe King is dead.  Long live the King.

King will no doubt preference the Liberals ahead of the ALP, consistant with his claim to be a 'Liberal Independent'. Even if he didn't, voters with the savvy to vote for an indie are more than capable of defying a how-to-vote card. So if King was to shave off 10-15% of the Liberal vote from 2001, most of it would flow straight back to Turnbull ahead of the ALP on preferences. For King to win, he would have to run second, and therefore ahead of the ALP, and rely on ALP preferences to get him over the line. To do so would require 30% of the vote - a most unlikely prospect for a sturdy-but-unremarkable independent.

Okay, so the ALP run dead - it'll depress the ALP vote a bit by a few percent, but those few percent will spread all over the place amongst a cacophany of noisy candidates. And the ALP not running at all? Liberal vote will jump 10 percent, guaranteed, from voters who will only ever vote for a major party.

Whilst the Libs have got Turnbull as their man, the ALP have David Patch, who has handled himself exceptionally well for a candidate preselected in an unwinnable seat. Hopefully Sussex Street can find a winnable spot for him in the future.

All the preference deals in the world won't get him - or King - over the line. Turnbull to hold the seat for the Liberals... and to be on the front bench as soon as the short man declares his innings closed.


Anonymous said…
I hope King wins. Second Turnbull.

God help us if Patch wins!

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