As we stagger towards the federal election, the public and media alike await the usual milestones: the Big Election Theme, the triggering catchphrase (what is 2019's “stop the boats”?), and the candidates' inevitable gaffes when forced to interact with "normal people". The newest addition to these traditions is the swarm of candidates whose blunders and indiscretions will inevitably force them out of the race, barely after their signatures have dried on their approved application form.
Federal and state elections have provided stellar form for this in recent years. During last November’s Victorian election, the Greens got caught out three times. Joanna Nilson stepped down after social media posts surfaced in which she talked about shoplifting. Footscray candidate Angus McAlpine hung on til election day, but was plagued by controversy around rap lyrics he wrote and performed about rape. Dominic Phillips faced scrutiny over reports of "liking" sexist and racist Facebook pages, but was eventually stood down from campaigning due to an internal investigation concerning an allegation of sexual misconduct.