Politics

Feb 20, 2007

Howard will lose Bennelong, Liberals will lose the poll: MacKerras

Let me be the first pundit actually to predict that the Liberal Party will lose this year's general election as a whole and Bennelong in particular. There is, in my opinion, only one way John Howard can save his seat. No other Liberal candidate can win Bennelong.

Let me be the first pundit to predict that the Liberal Party will lose this year’s general election as a whole, and Bennelong in particular. If John Howard is foolish enough to contest this election the only way he can save Bennelong is by promising something he will not promise — that, if elected, he will serve out his entire term. Any failure to do that could lead to a repeat of the Jeff Kennett/Burwood fiasco of 1999. Jeff Kennett lost office in October 1999. He then immediately resigned his seat of Burwood. The by-election in December 1999 saw Labor take the seat. Labor then retained Burwood in November 2002 and again in November 2006. The defeat of the Kennett Government was unexpected. That is why he retained Burwood at the September 1999 general election.

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