The last thing NSW State Liberal Leader Peter Debnam needed was a renewed interest in the Federal election. He’s a man desperate to find a way of showing he is a fit and proper person to become Premier of the nation’s largest state — but the only election the Sydney media is interested in is Kevin Rudd versus John Howard.

There is a fascination with Rudd that is leaving no room for that other opposition leader.

The bookmakers are reflecting the difficulty. The Crikey NSW Election Indicator, based on the prices of the major internet players, has the Labor Government of Morris Iemma a 78% chance of retaining office with Debnam a 22% outsider.

Perhaps the best course for the State Liberals is to make a virtue out of their underdog status and quietly accept that their best hope is that enough people will cast a protest vote against a long serving Labor Party to elect enough independents to make a hung Parliament a possibility.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey