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How Peta Credlin has become the Liberal Party's 'great right hope'

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Peta Credlin, former chief of staff for Tony Abbott, is considered by some in the Liberal Party as its 'great right hope'.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

On December 18, the member for the federal seat of Mallee, Andrew Broad, announced his retirement. Immediately, the name Peta Credlin appeared towards the end of reports on who will replace him.

Most assumed it would be a National Party member. Since its creation in 1949 Mallee has had just four members – all Nats. But the Coalition agreement permits both parties to contest a vacant seat and unlike NSW, the Victorian Liberals exercise that option. If Credlin took the seat, it would re-energise a dispirited conservative movement. She would be the "great right hope".

Credlin has fierce critics but great leaders do. It strengthens them. Attacks on Credlin the political staffer were vague and just another front in the campaign to bring down her boss, Tony Abbott. The slights against her at that time are cancelled out by the electoral scoreboard. She was chief of staff to an opposition leader who was derided as unelectable. Within a year, Credlin played a leading role in helping Abbott almost defeat a first-term government, which hadn’t happened since 1931. Indeed, Abbott morally won in 2010 but lost thanks to two ex-Nat independents who betrayed their electorates. At the next election Abbott crushed Labor and in his........

© Brisbane Times