Wentworth – Australia 2022

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  1. Liberal Retain. Likley increased margin

    I’d be interested to see where the Kerryn Phelps first preference voters of 32.4% go. Mostly back to Dave Sharma or another Independent candidate who runs. A strong Green candidate or a Labor candidate with the right messaging for Wentworth voters would also poll well.

  2. Probably going to be at least one independent that’s an actual contender. Phelps may recontest and Malcolm Turnbull, John Hewson or Peter King may also want their old seat back. Turnbull (or his son) would love the profile.
    Phelps being a “high profile independent” was a media construction and they can do it again. The campaign strategy is easy. In addition to COVID woes, Sharma’s moderate image is easy to debunk with his voting record, and Zali in Warringah can be the comparison.

    Without an independent. I see Greens featuring heavily. David Shoebridge is the Greens senate candidate and he got his start in the area – he’ll be looking for votes here. They’ll be hot off the heels of council elections, and Greens do quite well in both Woollahra and Waverley councils.

    Sharma would beat Labor or the Greens and he’s probably safe in most other scenarios, but hard to say how something like Sharma vs Turnbull would go.

  3. In the absence of a high profile independent, this seat should revert to Sharma winning with about 55% of the vote, maybe more depending on what level of personal vote he can build up. (55% is what the Coalition got on Senate 3PP last time, so I think it’s the baseline here.)

  4. Word is that there will be a high profile independent running, and it’s likely the campaign will be managed by the person who ran Zali Steggal’s campaign (and Kerryn Phelps by-election campaign). Could be interesting.

  5. While a good progressive Independent could make this seat interesting, Sharma will likely consolidate his position. Phelps ran a textbook campaign as the high profile incumbent with a lot of resources, a strong track record and a big presence and still lost in 2019. (Disclaimer: I volunteered for her last time, so may still have PTSD) Sharma has chipped away with local community groups over the last three years. He also is very networked with big donors and will have lots of money to use in his campaign. Sharma is much more moderate than Abbott, so tempting comparisons with Zali and Warringah aren’t relevant in this seat. North Sydney is a more relevant comparison, where another moderate Lib has consolidated a high income inner metro seat. I know it’s a well versed subject, but house prices keep rising at a rapid pace and putting more Lib-leaning voters into this area. While many talk a big game about climate change, economic issues and the prospect of a Labor Govt always win the day with the SUV crowd. The long term increase in the Liberal vote in places like Paddington, Bondi Junction and Bondi, all areas where Labor used to beat the Libs in the early 2000s, will make the mountain harder and harder to scale.

  6. There is media coverage today suggesting that Allegra Spender might run for the Wentworth Independents group. While sympathetic to the cause, I don’t think her candidacy would change my assessment above. I’ve had excited messages from fellow travellers this morning, but I just don’t get what the thinking is in terms of a plan to win. Sharma secured 47.5% of the vote in 2019. So the only way Spender (or another Independent) wins is if they convince at least 2.5k people who voted Liberal in 2019 to switch this time around while holding onto every single voter Phelps secured – a very big ask. Sharma has had three years to dig himself in and is furiously messaging on net zero, something he couldn’t do in 2019. If they didn’t vote for Phelps, who had incumbency and a strong track record, what makes people think they will move over this time around?

  7. Sharma is not safe if the right candidate pops up to dislodge him but nobody seems to be running against him. Phelps has already ruled it out I believe and I doubt Alex Turnbull or any of the other Turnbull’s will give this a crack. (Despite the criticism of his party Malcolm Turnbull still has very high respects for his Liberal successor)

    Labor could win this if they are going for a landslide as this was marginal in 2004 and 2007 and that was with Turnbull at helm but this isn’t a Blue-Ribbon seat it once was. Turnbull clearly had 5-10% personal support. Don’t look at state figures because state elections are different to federal ones so looking at Vaucluse doesn’t give you a clear picture of where this will go.

    I agree Sharma will hold but not because him or his party is popular here. I believe they are distasted here but the lack of opposition means he will win again but it is still highly unlikely it will become a safe seat. Perhaps 55-45 LIB vs ALP after the election.

  8. The Coalition’s net zero plan is basically a fraud, the religious freedom bill would be very unpopular in an electorate that voted 80% in favour of same sex marriage, and the Coalition’s intransigence on ICAC is indefensible whether you’re campaigning in Grayndler or Maranoa. An organised and motivated independent campaign could hammer Sharma on all those and other issues regardless of how ‘moderate’ he claims to be. It’s just a matter of whether that organisation comes together in time. Clock’s ticking.

  9. Does anybody think there may be a possibility that Malcolm Turnbull could burst out and form a new ‘liberal’ – note the small ‘l’ – party before the election? He could sweep up a few of the Liberal moderates – Sharma, Allen, Evans, Zimmerman as well as Steggall, Haines, Sharkie, Griff and Rex Patrick. He has the profile, a track record and most importantly the money – and could pull in Simon Holmes a Court’s stuff as well. He is 67 – not young by our political terms but a wee stripling in the US!! It would liven things up and there seems to be no great enthusiasm for an Albo led ALP.

  10. Redistributed, I believe TNL (The New Liberals) party is one of these small ‘l’ liberal parties. If Turnbull decides to join this party and campaigns with Victor Kline he could have a major influence.

  11. I doubt it. But could he endorse a candidate running against Sharma? Given the way he’s been talking lately, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  12. Allegra Spender was in the AFL today. It’s becoming a competition amongst high achiever corporate women as to who can back her fastest. A veritable who’s who of woke feminist business “leaders” !!.
    Sharma is gone. None of the reasons put forward, so far is actually correct. Spender will capture most of the same people that voted for Phelps & then some (more). For exactly the same reason. It is all about the image.
    Mrs WD put it so well. All those people with their big empty lives, searching for some meaning…..
    Well they will probably think they have found it, or something …..
    Independent win


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