October 04, 2005 | Graham

Secondo Amigo

With Councillor Tim Nicholls winning Liberal Party preselection by two votes for the state seat of Clayfield I now have a 66.66% success rate on my prediction that Santoro, Caltabiano and Nicholls would all attempt to enter state politics at the next election. Actually it’s really 100% because I wasn’t putting any money on the Santoro leg of the trifecta.
This preselection is not a good result for the Queensland Liberals as it further institutionalises factionalism in the tiny parliamentary party and puts another non-descript non-performer into a winnable seat when a more colourful, and ept, alternative was on offer.
Nicholls beat Sally Hannah for the preselection, and Hannah was the Liberals’ candidate for Clayfield at the last election. She did creditably, compared to the previous Liberal candidate, who was Santoro. He won 42.2% of the primary vote, and she won 45.08%. In two-party preferred terms it was 48% for Santoro versus 48.83% for Hannah. So, the decision doesn’t reward performance, and it doesn’t reward loyalty.
It also shows up some of the shifting factional alliances in the Liberal Party. While Hannah was regarded at the last election as being of the Santoro faction, in this preselection she was apparently supported by the Carroll faction, or at least by the Brandis part of it. She also received letters of support from Petrie MP Theresa Gambaro, and newly elected Redcliffe MP Terry Rogers.
The closeness of the vote indicates that Santoro had to rely on the State Executive vote to win a preselection for his preferred candidate in the area of Brisbane that he controls the most strongly. Not only that, but the win was only achieved by excluding the Federal Parliamentary Leader’s representative and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman from the preselection. (I’m not sure how they managed to do this as both on my reckoning should have been eligible to vote.)
In a way it’s not surprising that Newman was excluded – it’s the second snub to him in almost as many weeks. When it came to replacing Caltabiano in Carindale Ward the boys put Adrian Schrinner in, rather than Newman’s candidate. As Schrinner had been the Liberal candidate in the ward of East Brisbane at the last election, which he nearly won, it was a double loss for Newman. If he wants to run Brisbane in his own right, he is going to need to win East Brisbane next election.

Posted by Graham at 10:34 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. I suppose its better having State Council representatives who are elected by the rank and file from all over the state participating in a preselection, rather than a mob of union delegates whom the rank and file may not even know exist.
    I had my doubts about Nicholls, but I think the better candidate was chosen on the day.

    Comment by R — October 5, 2005 @ 12:43 pm

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