Some thoughts on the Bennelong by-election:
- The Liberal pollster was right in advising Malcolm Turnbull that the Chinese community in Bennelong was predominantly anti the Beijing regime and that votes would be won, not lost, by some criticism of the activities of the Chinese government in Australia.
- Conversely, Labor suffered, rather than gained, from trying to make Turnbull's comments about the Chinese communist government an example of anti-Chinese racism.
- Labor fell in love with having an attractive star candidate and forgot that candidates count for little compared with the judgement people have about how a government has performed. As the Owl wrote back on 18 November: "When a political party has an attractive candidate it is easy to forget that elections are not personality contests. The effort goes into the froth and bubble rather than delivering the message. So now that Labor has got its Bennelong campaign underway it's time to quickly move on from happy snaps of Kristina Keneally to its real strong point of reminding voters of their unique opportunity to send a message to Malcolm Turnbull."
- If Malcolm Turnbull personally is not a vote winning asset, Labor needs to realise that neither is Bill Shorten.
- For an initial electoral outing the Australian Conservatives led by Senator Cory Bernardi did encouragingly well. Liberals and Nationals at a federal election could end up being as dependant on AC preferences as Labor is on the Greens