WHOEVER wins the seat of Indi this week, Sophie Mirabella has been “put on notice”, say her opponents.
While Labor candidate Robyn Walsh and the Greens’ Jenny O’Connor were disappointed at losing much of their traditional primary vote to Cathy McGowan, they were holding on to hope it would be enough to get the independent over the line.
They both scoffed at Mrs Mirabella’s attacks of the perceived Labor-Greens-independent alliance working to unseat her.
“There was never a formal alliance,” Ms O’Connor said.
“We were all just in agreement that we wanted her to go.”
Based on the latest counts, Labor’s primary vote in Indi crashed to 11.3 per cent, down from 32.12 per cent in 2007 and 27.2 per cent in 2010.
The Greens’ primary vote was decimated from 9.45 per cent in 2010 to just 3.2 per cent.
“If Sophie gets back in, then that’s an upsetting outcome from my point of view, so I’m still hoping Cathy wins,” Ms O’Connor said.
Ms Walsh agreed.
“I’m making the next candidate look wonderful, aren’t I?” she quipped.
“No, either way, next election the ALP will regard this as a marginal seat and treat it as such, and put more money into the campaign next time.
“Sophie Mirabella has been put on notice.
“Whether she wins or loses, she will hopefully never ignore the people of Indi again.”
Ms Walsh congratulated Ms McGowan on “a brilliant campaign”.
“She’s shown us all how to campaign,” she said.
Ms Walsh said criticism of Labor and Greens supporting Ms McGowan showed that Mrs Mirabella was “not taking responsibility ... she has got to accept the verdict of the community”.
Ms O’Connor said the fact other parties supported each other and helped each other in campaigning showed their “spirit of goodwill ... that’s what democracy is about”.
“You can still be respectful and support each other,” she said.
“With the exception of Sophie, that’s how this whole election campaign has played out.
“It’s a shame she doesn’t take part in that.”
Ms O’Connor said she hoped Mrs Mirabella would “listen to what was being said” if she won.
“My hope is that she does, but my feeling is that she’ll be more angry and defensive,” she said.
“But she needs to understand what’s being said, and what we want.”
Ms O’Connor said she was pleased personally with the feedback from the community of her campaign.
“It’s interesting that you can be a good candidate with good policies and it won’t make a difference on election day,” she said.
“The marketing and vibe matters more than the substance and performance of candidates, and that’s something to think about.”