Well here we are 39 days out from the NSW State Election.
Whilst I have been keeping a weather eye on the situation state wide, I have also been aware of the silence of Swansea.
The ALP as usual has lots of money to spend on advertising and we have the KK Fairness for Families Ad (in two versions – one for Sydney Water and One for Hunter Water) where we are told it is “not a promise, it will be the law” emphatically. I personally would have thought that a commitment to pass future legislation was essentially a political promise.
It seems in Swansea we have a choice of four Candidates:
ALP – Robert Coombs – the sitting (probably emphasize that) member. He couldn’t be bothered having his own website, and survives electronically with a page on the ALP site and a mention on the NSW parliamentary site. His major priority os a new bridge for Swansea.
LIB – Gary Edwards – who is a 60 year old conveyancer and currently the Deputy Mayor of Lake Macquarie. He also does not have much more that a page on the Liberal Party site and a mention on the Lake Macquarie website. He is into fiscal responsibility.
GRN – Phillipa Parsons – Currently Greens Councillor for Lake Macquarie, and now has not even rated a description on the Greens Summary of candidates for electorates. She is active on facebook and has had a bit of a yarn on her blog “here we go again”. She also wants a feasibility study for public transport on the lake.
IND – Gillian Sneddon – Gillian is standing as an Independent to bring integrity to public life, and she does have the credentials to do this as the Orkopoulos whistleblower. Gillian has a website and is active on facebook. The campaign slogan “there is no spin with Gillian”
The likely outcome is that Robert Coombs will get the gong. I would like to think that it may not be an automatic assumption. Robert Coombs inherited the seat after Orkopoulos went to gaol, and at that stage I felt the ALP should have been treated a little more harshly. The State Wide swing against the ALP may not be so high on Swansea as there was a bit of a swing here last time. On the other hand as Phillipa Points out he has been lack lustre in voicing residents concerns over the development proposals for Catherine Hill Bay, Overcrowded under provision public housing in Swansea and a range of other issues. Like his fearless leader he would rather ignore the train wreck and look to the future.
Gary seems to be running so that the liberal have a candidate.
Philllipa seems to be running because she is the designated Green candidate for various elections and there is an election on and so she is out with the flag again.
Gillian is harder to place. The mere fact that she is running must make the ALP uncomfortable as it reminds them of the unresolved, because she was so shamefully treated by the ALP and has a great deal of quiet silent majority support. How much of the electorate this affects is a question, though she does represent “the elephant in the room”.
Nominations don’t close till the 10th of March so we don;t know who else is running. I think is the Greens attract a reasonable share of the vote which I think they will do state wide, and if Gillian can rally some local support, an the tide of opinion against the Government is as much as is suggested in the polls, then Robert Coombs may not just be a shoe in.
It seems that one of the critical issues will be the preferences. Coombs is unlikely to attract much more than 40% f the primary vote, and may in fact attract less. With optional preference voting in NSW it means that ballots expire, so it is important for the voter to make their vote count to flow the preferences.
Locally we have no pamphlets yet and no real blurb apart from our fearless premier who seems to have failed to notice that most of us think she is going down.