Fighting Liberals ‘a waste of cash’

BENALLA MP Bill Sykes believes the Victorian Coalition shouldn’t waste time on three-cornered contests and, instead, focus on winning as many seats as possible in what is shaping as a tough election race in November.

The Coalition holds the lower house by just one seat and relies on independent Frankston MP Geoff Shaw to survive.

The new seat of Euroa will take in much of Seymour, held by the Liberals’ Cindy McLeish; which could pave the way for a three-cornered contest between the Liberals, Nationals and Labor.

But Dr Sykes said the Nationals had indicated their preference for a Nationals Party member to run for the seat without a Liberal presence and the Liberals had so far not called for pre-selection there.

“If there’s to be any belief in the polls at the moment, we have a heck of a job to win government, therefore it makes sense for the Coalition to use its resources to do that, not have one party contest against the other to grab a seat,” he said.

Dr Sykes pointed to the recent example of Mallee in the federal election, where the Nationals’ Andrew Broad defeated the Liberal candidate by more than 10,000 votes — effectively “wasting” campaign dollars.

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