Thursday, August 9, 2012

By the By

The by-election in Heffron is going to be held on 25 August.

I've already written about why the by-election is happening and what it all means here, so I won't repeat myself.

Suffice to say that, as expected, the Coalition has recognized that running a candidate is a no-win option, and are taking a pass.

Anthony Green has, as usual, put together an outstanding page on the by-election, which is thoroughly worth reading.

I just wanted to add a few thoughts.

First of all, the candidates: (summaries from Anthony Green's page)
First of all, as a Public Defender, Hoenig immediately earns some respect (from me, at least). PD's are barristers who work for Legal Aid full-time (as opposed to most barristers who are briefed by solicitors and may or may not do some legal aid work).

PD's work defending people who are often seen as being the lowest of the low, and their work is usaully pretty thankless. They do that for, in the vast majority of cases, far less money than they could earn in private practice.

It's also worth noting that he has apparently been Mayor of Botany Bay for over 30 years, which must be some kind of record.

A pretty impressive sheet.
A serial candidate - not that that is likely to affect her vote. I suspect that CDP voters are, typically, voting more for the party than the candidate anyway.
Unlike the CDP candidate, Faruqi is not only a local, but ran for the Greens in this seat in 2011. But for the fact that Hoenig has an equally impressive "pedigree", one would expect that to give her a big advantage in a by-election, given the usual collection of opportunists that tend to nominate.

She is apparently well-known locally, and has quite the profile in the party.
I don't really have anything to add, other than that is a heck of a CV he's got there.

According to Anthony Green, the Greens need a swing of 16.2%. It's difficult to see where they could possibly find that, given the local pedigree that Hoenig has.

That's all assuming that Anthony Green's analysis of the preference flow is right. He has (quite reasonably) based it on the preference flow in Marrickville in 2011, which is a seat where the 2PP was LABvGRN. That's sensible, and all he really can do - but it is flawed because the further west you go in Heffron the "Greener" you get. The flow in the Southern and Eastern parts will not flow the same way.

Having said that, the other two candidates will not really figure, except for the Coalition voters who go with the CDP candidate rather than do the unthinkable and given Labor or the Greens a "1".

The fact that Labor have drawn the top spot will only further guarantee what should be an easy victory.

What will be more interesting will be the reaction to Kristina Keneally's husband Ben Keneally succeeding Hoenig as Botany Bay Mayor, and whether he starts positioning himself for a tilt at a seat in 2015.

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