If you think things are hotting up in the Victorian ALP and their tussles for pre-selection, the ensuing bunfights in the Libs is a smorgasbord of rivalries. It seems a recent report on ABC’s Stateline about Inga Peulich was pretty close to the truth, with those close to the scene saying Chris Strong MLC is all but beaten into the almost unwinnable third position in that region, and pre-selections haven’t even started.

You can be damn certain that Robert Doyle wants his loyal sidekick, Andrea Coote, who he has shared an office with on more than one occasion, to be the head of the ticket in the South East Metro region, with Inga Peulich pushing out Chris Strong for the second position. Inga has been flexing her muscle and alignments since successfully riding on others’ coat-tails on to the party’s administrative committee.

On the basis of 2002 election results, that’s one of two regions where the Greens can be expected to pick up a seat in the newly formed Legislative Council of 40 (reduced from the currect 44).

In the week to come, expect to see John Foley, one of Inga’s lieutenants, elected chairman of the Regional Electorate Council for the south-east region. In the Liberal Party, an electorate Council’s chairman and two vice chairman (male and female) are ex-officio members of a pre-selection panel, so tying up these votes now is vital to Inga being returned to Spring Street after her dumping at the last election in the seat of Bentleigh, albeit to return in the other place.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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