Let's all get distractedHearing news of Peter King’s decision to run as an Independent in the seat of Wentworth conjured up memories of another disendorsed Liberal candidate (although I note that Mr King is the sitting Member). While I have no doubt that there are no other similarities between Mr King and Ms Hanson, these kind of coincidences are always nice to note.
You can read a couple of different commentaries on the implication of this for the Liberals and the Prime Minister. Rob Shilkin at the Herald says its now ‘impossible to call’, whereas Christian Kerr in today’s Crikey reckons it won’t be such a big deal:
It’s a spotfire in what should be a safe seat that the Prime Minister does not need – but isn’t as bad as it could be. King has said he will not be preferencing Labor – presumably so he doesn’t completely cruel the political ambitions of his wife Fiona, already active in local government and said in some circles to have an eye on the safe state seat of Vaucluse.Hugo Kelly, also in Crikey, picks up on how this fits into the broader theme of emerging disunity amongst the Federal Liberal Party (and makes the almost obligatory reference to ‘rats’):
It's official. Peter King is the latest – and biggest - Liberal rat to jump ship in this weird election campaign.
However, even if the predictable happens and Liberal candidate Malcolm Turnbull holds this seat for the Government, as long as this story is in the news it is taking up valuable space (same goes for other ‘sideshows’ such as the Brandis/Galt issue, which might be forgotten in a week or two). Space which might otherwise be given over to a negative Government message or general Howard scaremongering.
Fine with me.