Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith (right) with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (Image: AAP/Julian Smith)

Victorian Liberal Tim Smith, a man who calls to mind a kind of Freaky Friday body switch between a small town mayor and a Year 12 student who wears a blazer on free dress days, last night put out a Facebook poll on whether Daniel Andrews should resign.

It was one of those polls that utilitises the various emoji reactions as a voting mechanism (“thumbs up to vote yes, love heart to vote no, angry face to vote undecided” etc), only he’d amusingly rigged so there could only be one outcome:

The only problem was that Smith, who is paid nearly $200,000 in public money a year, and employs people to help with his media strategy, had forgotten — appropriately enough — about the “hug” emoji, which, at time of publication, accounts for 33,000 of the 38,000 responses he’s received, presumably making Smith the first man to be conclusively trounced in his own rigged push poll.

Smith presents a uniquely modern challenge to any journalist. His late-night, school boy insults and baseless provocations have no intention or content beyond harvesting attention, and calling them out has no effect. His colleagues presumably already know he’s an embarrassment, and no amount of jokes on our part about how he’s a Young Liberal who got magically aged into an adult’s body like Tom Hanks in Big is likely to halt talk of him as a possible leadership contender.

Largely because, as Victoria suffers the worst COVID-19 crisis in the country, you couldn’t pick the current Liberal leader out of a line up of one.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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