Laborâ€™s Left have now fully appreciated the transformation of their one-time stronghold in Melbourne to a fully-fledged marginal seat.
While factional operator Andrew Giles had a strong claim on the seat, he has been unwilling to claim his prize because he and other faction hard-heads have been keen to come up with a candidate who would represent the biggest challenge to cocky Greens party chickens-before-they-hatched candidate Adam Bandt.
Bandt is believed to have high-fived party comrades in the Greens party bunker in Melbourneâ€™s CBD after Lindsay Tannerâ€™s unexpected retirement due to family reasons. His glee will turn to anger when he realises that he has just been gender-wedged in the lefty seat.
The smirk might be wiped off his face now that the Labor Left are playing their best possible inner-city cards, Julia Gillard as PM and Cath Bowtell, an accomplished inner-city lefty woman from the ACTU.
Bowtell was considered a likely ACTU secretary successor to Brussels-bound Sharan Burrow until outsider nurses union boss Ged Kearney brutally did her in to claim the prize.
Sources have told VEXNEWS that she is likely to be the only candidate at a Socialist Left faction meeting today. Some have suggested that the rebel right faction associated with David Feeney would be putting up ALP Assistant Secretary and renaissance man Nathan Lambert, but sources close to Lambert have strongly denied this.
MONDAY 9PM UPDATE: The Social Left has convened and as VEXNEWS Investigations Unit had exclusively revealed earlier in the day, Comrade Cath Bowtell emerged as their candidate. Giles had graciously decided not to run, giving her a clean run and maybe Labor’s best chance of hanging on to the seat. Meanwhile, the party’s Administrative Committee will on Tuesday night convene to establish a quick preselection process that will almost certainly select Bowtell.
It is interesting to compare our revelations with claims made in the Sunday Age whose Melissa Fyfe confidently opined that Bowtell would not be a candidate because she’d recently taken up a new job:
Former ACTU senior industrial officer Cath Bowtell was approached about standing but at this stage is unlikely to, having just started a senior job at WorkSafe