As an illustration of Australian politics, the Batman by-election is so perfectly dire it could almost have been engineered by a group of marketing interns wanting to tick every box.

Its origin story is crafted for the zeitgeist, with the sitting member for Batman -- pratfalling comedic relief David Feeney -- resigning over his dual national citizenship. So far, so hot right now.

Triggering a by-election, two main contenders entered the competition for both the votes and, just as important, online attention where everything is a symbol just waiting to be analysed by a first year Arts student who has just discovered Jung and Marx during O-week.