Dec 6, 2017

Shoppers in Bennelong aren’t buying what Labor is selling

Bennelong could go the way of New England unless Labor can muster a better way to engage with voters.

Irfan Yusuf — Lawyer, author and commentator

Irfan Yusuf

Lawyer, author and commentator

The message from voters is clear. According to one poll, some 80% of voters say the Coalition must allow Turnbull to serve his full term. The huge swing delivered by the punters in New England must surely include an element of confidence in the present leadership. That same confidence may well be repeated in the Bennelong by election.

Certainly that was the vibe I picked up through parts of my backyard, a place my parents dragged me to at five months old in 1970. It didn’t really matter who I spoke to - my Middle Eastern chemist in Ryde or the lady behind the op shop counter in West Ryde or the Malaysian dude who sells confectionary at the Taiwanese night market in Eastwood – most people displayed little interest in the campaign, which can only help the incumbent. Contrast this to when John Howard lost the seat and Maxine McKew became a one term wonder. Back then, many voters were on a mission to toss out the PM in the most humiliating fashion.

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