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Burnside won't win, but Kooyong will still be a sobering lesson

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10.03.2019

Julian Burnside’s vanity candidacy on behalf of the Greens for the hitherto safe Coalition Melbourne suburban seat of Kooyong got people’s attention momentarily.

Julian Burnside will run as the Greens candidate in the seat of Kooyong. Credit:Jason South

But far more significant than nomination for an individual seat is what Burnside’s entry into a Federal election campaign tells us about challenges facing the Liberal Party in what had been its heartland state, and, more broadly, the country.

While it is highly unlikely that diligent local member Josh Frydenberg will lose Kooyong, the fact the seat may be in danger of yielding its blue-ribbon status would be deeply shocking to Liberal founder Robert Menzies, who held the it in a canter from 1934-1966.

On the figures from the recent Victorian state election, Kooyong will be marginal.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Credit:AAP

Dismay among Victorian Liberals at Malcolm Turnbull’s dumping may have dissipated somewhat,

but not displeasure at the party having veered away from the centre ground in the mistaken belief its salvation could be found among climate-change deniers, social conservatives, renewables antagonists, culture-wars warriors, coal fetishists, and right-wing ideologues from various think tanks funded by modern day robber barons.

Disaffection among Victorian Liberals reflects a much wider nationwide disappointment at the party’s direction manifested in the Wentworth result last year.

In all of this, what is........

© Canberra Times