Well, that was fast. After last week announcing she would be seeking Liberal Party pre-selection in the suddenly-vacant seat of Wentworth, Christine Forster has suddenly turned around this morning and announced she would not be doing that at all, citing what she claims as a surprising amount of chatter that her candidacy was a proxy for the Liberal Party’s current spate of inept flailing.
Forster, whomst is the sister of Tony Abbott, the most Not Mad™ person to ever grace Australian politics, confirmed this morning she would no longer be seeking pre-selection in the seat previously occupied by now-former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, bringing to a close one of the shortest federal election campaigns in recent memory.
Earlier this morning Forster confirmed her withdrawal from consideration via Facebook.
I indicated my intention to run for preselection as the Liberal candidate for Wentworth last week because I want to do the very best I can to represent and advocate for the people of my local community. The commentary about my candidacy since then, however, has focused on the suggestion that it was a proxy for division within the Liberal party. That is not the case, but to avoid any such perception, I will be standing aside and giving my full support to the successful candidate. I remain committed to doing everything I can to ensure we defeat Labor in the coming battles.
The sheer shock at being considered a proxy for the Liberal Party’s woes – given that she was running in a seat vacated by her brother’s sworn political enemy – seems fundamentally baffling. But here we are.
The Wentworth by-election looms as a critical test for the Liberal Party; the seat has previously been considered safe Liberal territory but Turnbull’s absence alone is predicted to cause a sizeable swing against the party. Labor will field businessman Tim Murray in the election, while the Greens are running Waverley Deputy Mayor Wy Kanak.
The Liberal Party has yet to settle on a candidate to fill the vacancy left by the departing ex-PM.