Liberal party insiders are questioning the widespread assumption in the media that merchant banker Josh Frydenberg is the frontrunner in the looming preselection fight for the deliciously safe seat of Kooyong after many of the party members previously recruited by him did not renew their membership.
Some say nearly two-thirds of his membership base failed to renew, many of them supporters of the Frydenberg entity from Melbourne’s Jewish community.
Prior to the mass membership lapsing, Frydenberg had been well within his rights to claim frontrunner status as he’d appeared to be stacking for years against his somnolent and arrogant opponent incumbentard Petro Georgiou, although his failure to adequately connect with either the Kroger/Costello faction or their opponents in blood feud the Baillieu/Davis group left him vulnerable to being picked off from the outside.
Now it seems he is no longer able to rely on his once impressive local stacks for support in what most observers see as a crucial development.
VEXNEWS consulted the hard-men of branch-stacking where it was turned into an Olympic sport in the Victorian ALP for comment on the question of allowing one’s members to “lapse” in the year of an expected preselection.
Many reactions were unpublishable with most puzzling about how this could possibly be.
“He’s done an Evan Thornley?” one questioned, confirming the self-destructing and arguably corrupt former Labor MP’s place in the political lexicon.
The collapse in Frydenberg’s key strategic advantage in the preselection fight leaves IPA boss and former Bill Shorten best-man John Roskam who has told mates he is definitely going to run and the dark-horse candidate John Pesutto, one of the state’s leading employer-side industrial lawyers. Both of these chaps appear to be on very good terms with incumbent Petro Georgiou and the Baillieu/Davis factional machine in the area, which of course in the genteel Liberal way once associated with intelligence agencies, denies its own existence.
The seat is regarded by party insiders as a “leadership seat” where the candidate ought be someone certain to be able to serve in a Liberal cabinet and possibly as leader, should the occasion requires. This designation should have prompted the departure of Georgiou many years ago says party observers keen to restore the Victorian division’s status as the jewel in the Liberal crown.