Each election, political aspirants from the Indian subcontinent – Indian / South Asian candidates suddenly surface with their corflutes and billboards and make the community proud. While the major chunk of them is grabbed by the two major parties, there are some seen espousing the agendas of the Greens, United Australia party and / or the Independents.
Unfortunately – the we do not see them succeeding because the major parties – use them to prop up their votes in numbers and use them to contest elections from the seats they normally would not win.
Some agree to put up their hand up in an electorate with a margin of 10-15 per cent knowing fully well the seat is unwinnable.
But they do. Good luck to them. Some may be hoping for a miracle. Miracles do happen, as we all along with Scott Morrison found out in 2019.
In this year’s election we have quite a list of our candidates most on the Liberal and Labor party tickets and some hopefuls, some with a small chance, some others with a fighting chance and one almost certain to WIN and make a career as an MP in Canberra.
A brief snapshot of our candidates:
Manish Patel is the Liberal candidate for Corio, a Labor seat currently held by the deputy Labor leader Richard Marles.
Surbhi Snowball is the Labor candidate for Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula. Flinders is a Liberal seat (since 1984) currently held by the Federal Health minister Greg Hunt.
Bill Koul is the Liberal candidate for Fremantle. The seat of Fremantle has been a Labor seat since 1934 and is currently held by Labor’s Josh Wilson.
Pradeep Pathi is the Liberal candidate for Greenway. The seat is currently held by Labor’s Michelle Rowland with a margin of 52.80% to 47.20% in 2019. With the polls showing a swing to Labor, it seems unlikely that Pradeep Pathi will be able to win (miracle category) it for Scott Morrison.
Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah is Labor’s candidate for Higgins. Higgins has always been a safe Liberal seat and is the seat of former treasurer Peter Costello who gave it to his advisor Kelly O’Dwyer. The seat has been in Liberal hands since 1975 and is currently held by Katie Allen for the Liberal party with a margin of 59.97% to 40.03% (2019).
Ravi Gaddipati is the Liberal candidate for Lalor. The seat of Lalor is a safe Labor seat, currently held by Labor’s Joanne Ryan with a margin of 62.41% to Liberals 37.59% in 2019. The seat has been a labor seat since 1969.
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Vivek Singha is the Liberal candidate for McMahon for the second time. He also contested the seat in 2019 against Labor’s Chris Bowen Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy. Chris Bowen won the seat with 62.11% to Vivek Singha’s 37.89% in 2019.
Immanuel Selvaraj is the Labor candidate for the electorate of Mitchell, a safe Liberal seat held currently by the Liberal’s Alex Hawke, federal minister for Immigration. Immanuel also contested the seat in 2019 and lost. Alex Hawke defeated Immanuel Selvaraj with 67.82% to 32.18% in 2019.
Cassandra Fernando is the Labor candidate for the seat of Holt, a very safe Labor seat retained by the Labor party since 1980. It is currently held by Labor’s Anthony Byrne, the retiring MP embroiled in the IBAC’s branch stacking investigation. Anthony won this seat in 2019 by a margin of 59.94% to Liberal candidate’s 40.06%.
Having won the prized pre-selection for one of the safest seats with a winning margin of almost 20%, Cassandra is set to win this seat and go to Canberra as Labor MP post May 21.
There are a number of Indian/South Asian descent candidates contesting elections on Liberal tickets:
- Ranj Perera for Holt
- Bevinakoppa S for Hotham
- Binod Paudel for Macarthur
- Virosh Perera for Scullin
- Jugandeep Singh for Chifley
- Sahil Tomar for Jagajaga
- Dave Sharma for Wentworth.
Of all the Indian candidates in the fray, Dave Sharma, who has been a member for parliament for Wentworth, is a chance fighting hard against the so-called ‘Teal Independent’ – Allegra Spender. The only other real chance is Cassandra Fernando for the seat of Holt.