Kyabram Free Press
PM weighs into debate
A vote for an independent is a ‘vote for chaos’: Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has weighed in strongly to the debate on independent candidates in Coalition strongholds by suggesting voters should be asking them “how they would vote”.
Among those “in the gun’’ is Independent candidate for Nicholls, Rob Priestly, who has thrown a spanner in the works of long-time Nationals stronghold Nicholls.
Early polling suggested he had similar support to the Coalition candidates, with a large percentage of those polled still undecided.
Mr Priestly is among several independent candidates, along with Dr Monique Ryan — the paediatric neurologist who is threatening to unseat Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in the Melbourne electorate of Kooyong — who are being targetted by Mr Morrison.
Since day one of the “unofficial campaign’’, which started in January this year, Mr Priestly has been forced to defend his independent status amid the consistent messaging of Coalition candidates Steve Brooks and Sam Birrell — regarding the inability of non-party aligned federal members to have an impact on the national stage.
Mr Priestly said he was not fully across the PM’S criticism, as he had been concentrating on his Nicholls campaign, but admitted to seeing the occasional segment.
“I ask people to look at me as a candidate and contrast that with some of the people we have in parliament at the moment,” Mr Priestly said.
“It is a deliberate scare campaign and I implore people to look at the capability of the person. If we can get more people into federal parliament that have lived real lives it will be good for us all.”
Mr Morrison last week rehashed his well-trodden line that a vote for independent candidates was “vote for chaos” and a “vote for the Labor Party”.
“They want people to vote for them. But they won’t tell people who they’re going to vote for, or what they’re going to vote for,” he said.
Mr Morrison has claimed he would not do a deal with independent MPS even if it meant giving up his chance to be returned to power.
The Prime Minister has again ruled out negotiating with the crossbench to govern if the election results in a hung parliament where neither the Coalition or Labor secures the 76 seats needed to form government.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has also claimed he will not do a deal with independents and minor party MPS, saying he is confident Labor can govern in its own right.