Change in the air for pollies
IT has taken almost two weeks but the result of the Ovens Valley election battle has finally been decided with incumbent Tim McCurdy retaining the seat for the third time.
Although the Nationals MP led all the way the mere fact it not only went to preferences but actually took the third distribution to decide the seat reflected a statewide swing against the Coalition as Labor dominated and independents marginalised a number of previously ‘safe’ seats.
In regional areas like the North East where the conservative parties have traditionally dominated there seems to have been seen a need for change.
It appeared to be part of the swing against the Coalition seen federally in recent by-elections that go back even before the Malcolm Turnbull leadership ruckus.
The next great test of the electorate will be in March or May next year with the federal election which leaves little time for the Liberal and National parties to turn things around.
They will need to overcome some growing perceptions that they are out of touch with the majority on key issues such as climate change, gender equality, civil rights and inclusiveness.
Yet, despite the poll figures and election results, each time there is talk of making subtle changes to their policies on these issues the message ends up the same.
It appears unless the Coalition leaders can convince more of the electorate their existing policies are the ones to support, and that doesn’t seem to have happened since the last election, they are doomed to a similar defeat they experienced in the Victorian election.
Campaigns based mainly on fear and appealing to your traditional base just don’t seem to work these days.