Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How do the Libs solve a problem like Greenway?

A good result overall for the Coalition should not mask the problem the party has in appealing to voters in Western Sydney. Greenway is a seat the Liberal party had been targeting and should have been one of the first seats in the country marked down as a Coalition gain but history will record a swing to Labor. This is the 2nd election in a row the Liberal Party has failed to win Greenway and make sweeping inroads in Western Sydney. The party needs to look at it's preselection process in the area, they've been running dud candidates for a long time now. It never used to matter too much because the whole of Western Sydney was seen as Labor heartland but as Lindsay, state election results in the area and even Blacktown Council (now with a Liberal Party mayor for the first time ever) show, people in Wetsern Sydney will vote for the Liberal Party if you give them a good reason to. What this post is attempting to do is list potential candidates for Greenway and/or Chifley in the future (a fantasy football for political tragics), their strengths and weaknesses and their likelihood of being preselected.

Jacqueline Donaldson
Jacqueline is a 2nd term councillor on Blacktown Council.. 
Pros: Has a strong media profile in the area and would pick up votes on name recognition alone. Gets on well with the Greens in the area due to joint environmental and fair trade campaigns. Could pick up votes from progressives. 
Cons: Could be too progressive for the Liberals in the area, Has had to defend the councils extremely controversial decision to close Mt Druitt Pools, her sons disastrous 2010 campaign for the seat of Chifley.
Chance of preselection: Low - She has control of some numbers but has said she doesn't want to run federally. Would be a shoo-in for Chifley preslection if she wanted it. 

Jess Diaz
Jess is a Liberal on Blacktown Council and migration agent.
Pros: Has a strong name recognition, controls the numbers for Greenway
Cons: His son Jaymes, has ran for the Liberals in 2007 in Chifley and while not a disastrous campaign it didn't exactly set the world on fire.
Chance of preselection: Low - His if he wants it but I doubt he does


          Nick Tyrrell 
          Nick is a former Liberal Councillor on Blacktown Council
          Pros: Young, smart, gets on well with people from all sides of politics.
         Cons: Lost preselection for the state seat of Riverstone and wasn't too happy about it. 
           Chance of preselection: Low

Venus Priest
Venus is a small business owner
Pros: Strong ties to the business community and Filipino community. Managed a 15.8% primary and 18.6% 2PP  swing as the Liberal candidate for Mt Druitt in 2011 and 5.4% primary and 7.35% 2PP swing as Liberal candidate for Chifley in 2010.
Cons:  Has already run and lost twice. 
Chance of preslection: High - Well liked in the party and by the public. Does she want to run again though?

 Isabelle White 
Liberal Councillor on Blacktown Council
Pros: Young, managed an almost 2% primary vote increase for the Liberals in Chifley in the 2013 Federal Election
Cons: Inexperienced, had a constant minder with her who looked like he was directing her every movement, (even going so far as to tell her not to put her hand out to give someone a handshake if they had only grabbed an ALP how-to-vote when the media was there) Has had to defend unpopular council polices like the clousre of Mt Druitt Pool and removing pensior rebates on land rates.
                                         Chance of preselection: High

Angry Anderson
Rock star
Pros: Massive public profile. Can generate media anywhere. Is a bit like Pauline Hanson in people think he "says it like it is" Tony Abbott's preferred candidate for Greenway.
Cons: Managed just 10.7% for the Nationals in Throsby at the 2013 election, although that was a 4% increase. May look like he's seat shopping. 
Chance of preselection: Mid. Would be a shoo-in if Abbott got his way.

Matt Adamson 
Former professional rugby league star.
Pros: Big public profile. Western Sydney is rugby league heartland. Another Abbott pick for Greenway
Cons: Ran for the Palmer United Party as their lead NSW Senate candidate.
Chance of preselection: Very low. Would have to switch parties.

For the Liberal party's sake let's hope there's more talent coming through. If I had to pick out of this lot I'd go with Venus Priest and Jacqueline Donaldson.
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