July 19, 2006 | Graham

“Bomber” gives Beattie an each-way bet

“Bomber” could present a problem for the Queensland Coalition. Not “Bomber” Beazley, but affable Queensland TV sports commentator Chris Bombolas. He has nominated for, and will receive, ALP preselection for the marginal Liberal seat of Chatsworth, slimly held by Liberal leadership aspirant, Michael Caltabiano.
Chatsworth was won by the Liberals in a byelection at the height of the crisis in Queensland’s health system. Sources say they spent around half-a-million dollars to win it. The swing to them was in excess of 17% in 2 PP terms, but the margin of security is still only 2.5%. Bomber will be gambling on a swing-back, as well as conditions improving for the government. He’s probably safe on both counts. His problem will be that Michael Caltabiano is an effective campaigner, and could well counter those two factors, but at what cost?
As I said, the Liberals shelled out somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000 to win the seat last time, including broadcast advertising. In 1995 when I was campaign chairman the total state Liberal Party contribution to the joint state campaign was somewhere in that vicinity, underlining the magnitude of the spend. If they need that sort of money again to protect Caltabiano (who according to our polling is one of their star performers, so has some claims on protection) then it means that someone is likely to go without.
That “someone”, more likely plural than singular, will be in a seat that the Coalition needs to win to form government. By backing the Bomber, Beattie is having an each-way bet, which might even turn into a double.

Posted by Graham at 12:09 pm | Comments Off on “Bomber” gives Beattie an each-way bet |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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