The Victorian Liberal Party has a new leader – or, old leader – after former party head Matthew Guy successfully rolled incumbent leader Michael O’Brien in a spill early this morning.
Guy now becomes Victorian state opposition leader for the second time, after previously leading the party into an ungodly election thumping in 2018.
The party room spill motion was moved early this morning by Guy’s political ally and Kew anon member Tim Smith. With an initial vote of 20 to 11 against him, O’Brien reportedly opted to withdraw from the race and not contest the party leadership, which keeps in-line with the Liberal Party ethos of simply quitting instead of taking an earned loss.
Michael O’Brien’s tenure as state opposition leader will be best remembered for no one actually remembering who he was; a laughable trait characterised by O’Brien’s staggering 15% public approval rate. That’s the kind of benchmark that ordinarily requires concerted effort to attain. You could personally hand-deliver dog shit into every mailbox in Melbourne and still have 20% of folks think you’re alright. So 15%, in and of itself, is a fair achievement.
Matthew Guy, on the other hand, previously lead the party face-first into a virtual election wipeout just three years ago.
Running on a policy platform of “racism” and very little else, Guy’s iteration of the Liberal Party was obliterated by Premier Dan Andrews, with the Liberals suffering an 11-seat loss at the polls.
During that election campaign, Guy and Prime Minister Scott Morrison used the aftermath of a terror attack in Melbourne to force a political photo op onto mourners by marching a press pack, unannounced, into Pellegrini’s Bar in the days following the 2018 Bourke Street stabbing attack, in which Pellegrini’s proprietor Sisto Malaspina was killed. Morrison, at the time, denied using the opportunity to score political points by explaining very clearly that he was there to “pay my respects and talk to the very issues that took place right here in this street.”
Guy’s other moment-of-note during his first run as opposition leader came in 2017, when news of an alleged lobster dinner with mafia boss Tony Madafferi. Secret tapes recorded at the dinner allegedly captured Liberal insiders discussing plans to funnel donations from Madafferi and a handful of associates into Liberal Party coffers.
So that’s the bloke the Victorian Liberal Party is turning to after their previous choice – the political equivalent of a water damaged Gyprock offcut – was gifted one of the great political softballs in modern history and decided to piss in his own mouth instead.
They don’t have a deep bench, hey.