Will the crisis at the ABC have any impact on the outcome of the Wentworth byelection, and the national fortunes of the Liberal Party?
Well, here are a few straws in the wind:
- Wentworth is the wealthiest electorate in Australia, strongly Liberal, but also full of active Greens and local progressive groups. Its western end is the most “radical”, with a large LGBTQI community. The vote in last year’s marriage equality postal survey was 81% in favor, the highest of any coalition-held electorate.
- Because of those factors, Wentworth is almost by definition a heavy ABC-consuming electorate. And a lot of its wealthy, highly educated, socially and politically aware voters are almost certain to have positive, even passionate, views about the role and independence of the ABC. It would be hard to believe that the ABC story isn’t running hot in the cafes and bars of Potts Point, Paddington and Rose Bay.
- On the night of October 20, a large chunk of the electorate’s residents will be watching the ABC for the results of the byelection, and especially the analysis and insights of Antony Green, the ABC’s election guru.
Put all that together and what do you get? An electorate that cares deeply about the ABC and is gearing up to give the Liberal Party a mighty thump at the ballot box.
The government needs to make sure the ABC imbroglio is pushed off the front pages — now.