Barry’s battlers

by ericknight

The Liberal Party’s success in western Sydney is significant. This has not been a victory of marginal seats. Electorates like Drummoyne in the inner west have not had a Liberal member in almost 50 years. The federal seat of Drummoyne used to have a Liberal Prime Minister. It was lost in the mood for change following the Menzies government. Saturday may mark a swing back in the other direction. 

Liberals should not take this swing for granted. The challenge for Barry O’Farrell is finding a way to speak to people who are voting Liberal for the first time in their life. They will be understandably apprehensive. How will the Coalition improve their access to healthcare, education for their kids, and the provision of social services?

O’Farrell faces a challenge, but he also has an opportunity. Incumbency has a strong pull in politics. If O’Farrell can persuade voters that the Coalition has a heart as well as a head on service delivery then he may change the electoral landscape of New South Wales for a generation.

Experts have more useful things than I to say about the NSW election result. One of the best pieces so far is Paul Kelly’s in The Australian. He quotes Paul Keating: “where goes NSW, so goes federal Labor”.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: