On Saturday July 15 there will be a by-election in Fadden on the Gold Coast. To replace Stuart Robert.
Robert resigned from Parliament recently after being badly exposed for his role in Robodebt. By a Royal Commission. He is also front and centre of at least half a dozen financial scandals. Some of which will be the subject of inquiries by the new NACC.
It is not unlikely that Robert is headed to prison. This could possibly dent the vote for the LNP in Fadden although their candidate Cameron Caldwell is widely expected to win by 5-10%. It is the Gold Coast. Wealthy aging population and generally conservative. Robert’s record and the general corruption of the LNP has not bothered them in the past.
Political journalist Belinda Jones will run as an independent candidate. She is popular and sensible on Twitter as @BelindaJones68 You can read all about her here https://belindajonesfadden.com/ Her site states her main 3 things as Integrity, Community and Climate.
How will Belinda do? Will her Twitter following help her? Will her lead inspire others to stand as independent candidates? She has certainly raised awareness about the by-election. Some social media people in Australia have very large followings and engagement. Could this tip the scales in their favour in the future?
It is of course very hard to make any headway against the LNP machine. They have almost universal support and promotion in the media. The last by-election in Aston in Melbourne though saw Labor’s Mary Doyle score a shock win after another Robodebt tainted politician Alan Tudge also resigned. There have also been big swings against the Liberals and Nationals in New South Wales. Who knows?
The next Robodebt “villain” to go is likely to be Scott “call me Scomo” Morrison in Cook in Sydney. Will someone pop out from the social media crowd to run for Cook? Let’s hope so.
The latest bedding odds do not make pretty reading but this is a race not a sprint and Belinda Jones has sown some seeds and no doubt won some hearts and minds for the battles ahead. I think you need 4% to get public funding. Let’s hope for at least that.
If you know anyone in Fadden consider sending them a text and ask them to consider Belinda. She could only be an improvement in Canberra.