23 November 2020

Seselja easily wins preselection vote for Senate

| Ian Bushnell
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Senator Zed Seselja

Senator Zed Seselja will be back on the ballot for the next Federal election. Photo: File.

Senator Zed Seselja has brushed off a challenge for the Liberals’ No 1 spot on the Senate ballot for the next federal election in Sunday’s preselection vote.

Former naval officer and current Department of Defence employee Sam Fairall-Lee took on the right-wing party power broker but the sitting Senator easily accounted for him 178 votes to 47.

It is believed moderate Mr Fairall-Lee had the backing of former senator Gary Humphries whom Senator Seselja ousted in a bitter preselection contest in 2013.

Luke Hadfield was named as Seselja’s running mate.

Senator Seselja said: “I look forward to continuing to be a strong voice for the ACT in the Morrison government, and building on the more than $1 billion in new investment in the ACT from the Federal Government.”

Mr Humphries has been outspoken about the ACT election loss, largely attributing it to the right’s stranglehold on the party.

Some in the party had seen this vote as a rushed contest so Senator Seselja could secure his position before any serious challenge could be organised.

The party’s AGM immediately followed the preselection contest on Sunday and current division president John Cziesla fended off a challenge by Brindabella candidate James Daniels 111 votes to 62.

The party is conducting a review of the ACT election campaign but it may not be completed until the New Year.

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Anyone who knows even the basics of politics can see that Zed is the best chance of the Liberals retaining this Senate seat.

It would truly be a gift to the Greens if the Libs went with an unknown, low profile candidate.

HiddenDragon8:24 pm 24 Nov 20

Interestingly (but probably not all that surprisingly) in the 45 years since the ACT gained representation in the Senate, the first preference vote share for Liberal candidates has typically been in the 30% – 40% range (usually in the lower half of that range).

The first preference vote share for Labor and other centre/left candidates (Democrats and Greens) has typically been in the 50% – 60% range.

Over the years, swings/movements in votes for both major parties seem to have had somewhat more to do with national swings than with the perceived positioning of lead candidates.

All of this is probably just another way of saying that the ACT is essentially a “drover’s dog” electorate, and that candidates don’t really make much difference to voting outcomes here – entertaining as it might be to think what might happen if a moderately stellar candidate, or even just a not from Central Casting candidate, happened to wander into the field.

Look at all the sanctimonious Labor voters on here who aren’t bright enough to separate Federal politics from local. The absolute lack of self awareness with comments about “terrible candidates” is astounding and hilarious.

I think those sanctimonious labor voters are bright enough to seperate federal and “state” politics.

However they are also smart enough to realise that candidates for both are put forward by, and selected by the same branch of the liberal party. And that my friend is where the issue lay. Not with sanctimonious labor voters.

Sanctimony has nothing to do with objections to Mr Seselja. Indeed, if there is any sanctimony around it is his. His ultra-conservative views and beliefs do not in any way reflect the views and beliefs of the majority of Canberrans.

Capital Retro6:24 pm 27 Nov 20

Name me two of his “ultra-conservative” views and beliefs?

Capital Retro9:48 am 24 Nov 20

All the haters are out in force this morning.

Not that I care who the liberal senate candidate is I can see why many are so annoyed.

The way in which old Zed was originally selected and ousted Gary Humphries was a bit on the dodgy side and the process this time is certainly not normal either.

The early and rushed process was done to guarantee Zed preselection.

Capital Retro8:51 pm 27 Nov 20

And he is still standing. Great outcome.

C’mon, you know none of that has the slightest to do with why these commenters hate Zed.

It’s pure ideology driving these comments. None of these people would ever vote for the Liberal party no matter who was standing for them.

Such a shame. Sam would have been a breath of fresh air. Instead we’re stuck with the stink of the same conservative hack job Liberal politics the current crop live & breathe.

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