The Victorian Liberals need some drastic action. As the election looms, a new Morgan Poll finds primary support for the Victorian ALP Government increased 2.5 points to 48.5 per cent, while the Liberal primary vote dropped 3.5 to 31.5 per cent. On a two party preferred basis, Labor are up two per cent to 61.5 per cent – a whopping 23 per cent lead over the opposition.

The problems are with the Libs. The Nationals primary vote is unchanged. Morgan reports amongst the minor parties, primary support for the Greens was unchanged on eight per cent, Family First unchanged on three per cent, the Australian Democrats unchanged on two per cent and independents and other parties up one point to five per cent. So no wonder the buzz that Stephen Mayne reports on today.

Is Jeff just being Jeff – assiduously Jeff – or is the most unlikely comeback since the S*x Pistols returned to the road in 1996 underway? And if so, isn’t there an insurmountable problem – that Jeff doesn’t have a seat?

Well, the S*x Pistols coped with the fact that Sid Vicious had been dead for almost 20 years. And the Victorian Liberal Party no doubt has ways and means.

Political parties have constitutions, and parliamentary parties – the actual groupings of elected MPs in the various houses round the country – have their rule books, too. No doubt there are people going through the Victorian Liberals’ with a fine tooth comb. In fact, perhaps they have already. It may well be that it is silent on whether the party leader actually has to be an MP.

Peter Fray

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