This Saturday, voters chose their federal representative Roshena Campbell (Liberal) or Mary Doyle (Labor) in Aston after Alan Tudge, a towering leader had to bow out. When he announced his decision to quit politics, it would have delivered mixed feelings to many of his colleagues including leader Peter Dutton.
Peter Dutton, a real pugilist in politics still has to learn the ropes as a well-rounded leader and is still being seen by many in his old avatar as the political ‘hit-man’ for the federal Liberals in Canberra.
Whatever your loyalties, everyone would agree he needs time to evolve and this election tomorrow will be an assessment of the progress he has made, if any, since assuming office of the Leader of the Opposition.
Aston, which was once one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, has been shedding the Liberal vote in recent times. Some experts may attribute it to the ‘Scomo’ factor, but the last election with its ‘hairline’ margin of only 2.8%, turned Aston into a real marginal seat., thus up for grabs by Labor.
It was not surprising that we saw too many baby kissed in Aston by not only Peter Dutton but also by the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
No expert has called it yet and most are cautiously tending to put it as a gain for Labor.
Some diehard Liberals are not giving up just yet.
Either way, the result is likely to be close.
The Left leaning commentators of course are not kind to Peter Dutton.
“A loss – or even a narrow win – would not only spell trouble for the opposition leader, Peter Dutton, but the Liberal brand as a whole, which has taken a beating the past year,” writes the Guardian.
The Liberal losses are no doubt piling up:
- the federal election in May 2022;
- the Victorian election in November 2022;and
- the New South Wales election last weekend.
The Liberal party has suffered unprecedented rejection particularly in the city and suburbs.
In Metro Melbourne, all the three seats the Liberals hold are considered marginal.
In what can be a real trouble for our candidate Roshena Campbell, the media reports suggest those who had been traditionally Liberal voters, were still to be convinced – well after Peter Dutton and Roshena Campbell had visited the area and spoken to them.
But the Indian community members who live in the electorate are hoping for the Liberals to win as the look forward to their own candidate – Roshena Campbell going to Canberra.
They do recognize the challenges the party is facing and are keeping their faith that the fortunes will turn around as the party finds its feet and recalibrates as commanded by the times.
Many say the Pesutto-Deeming Saga has not been helpful. A unified team whether landing to lend a hand, is always better than one washing their ‘dirty-linen’ in public.
“Albo & Co do not know much about the economy and Australians still voted them in. I hope they can see who talented and articulate Roshena – just the person you would want to keep the government accountable”, an Indian who has been a diehard Liberal told Bharat Times.
“I want everyone to vote for and elect Roshena this Saturday and make our community proud”, he added.
Commentators, especially on the left are suggesting that the bad result in Aston for the Liberal party will spell danger to Peter Dutton’s ambitions.
When asked if Roshena’s loss will be the end of Peter Dutton’s leadership, he retorts back “The question should be will Roshena given a berth be in the shadow cabinet after April 1?
As long as there is life, there must be hope.
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