tip off

Feeney accepts Senate ALP ‘death spot’ — for now

Victorian Labor Senator David Feeney has renominated for the “death spot” place on his party’s Senate ticket, resisting the urge to shift to a lower house seat — for now.

Crikey can reveal that Feeney submitted his form last week for the Senate spot, which would almost certainly see him tipped out of Parliament if current polls persist.

Under the Victorian party’s factional arrangements, Feeney will be shunted to the seemingly unwinnable number three position on the ticket behind the Right’s Jacinta Collins at two and the Left’s Gavin Marshall at one (both have renominated).

The decision leaves Feeney — who is now part of the Victorian branch’s “reunited Right” faction — with two possibilities. Either a lower house MP will pull the pin at the 11th hour before the election, enabling a last minute parachute job for Feeney, or the former Melbourne University student union office bearer will be accommodated within the Right’s lower house diaspora at a byelection after the poll.

A senior ALP head office source told Crikey this morning that “the nomination confirms that arrangement that exists within the Right. But I think he’s got a plan and he’ll eventually survive.”

As previously speculated, Feeney could conceivably hit up seats including the Prime Minister’s fiefdom of Lalor following the expected carnage at the ballot box next year. Other possibilities include Anna Burke’s seat of Chisholm and Simon Crean’s seat of Hotham. A Senate loss would mean his term would still stretch until June 30, 2014.

Feeney won his current position from the number three spot in the 2007 Ruddslide. He is a former Victorian state secretary.

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