The Senator Scott Ryan protÃ©gÃ© and staffer was elected second behind young Higgins powerbroker former Stonnington mayor Tim Smithâ€™s favoured candidate Greg Hannan. Indeed, Bevan was some sixty votes behind Hannan, in a showing that disappointed supporters.
It was an extraordinary result, Liberal insiders claim, because Bevan was #1 on both the Action Faction (former known as Kroger) ticket and also the Baillieu faction ticket. Both Bevan and Hannan hail from the anti-Baillieu grouping, so it was really just a bit of friendly internal jostling among the righteous.
Backers of Hannan though say their man is the more popular and suave operator, unafraid to pick up a phone to sway a vote and generally a man to watch. They are less impressed with Bevanâ€™s form.
The shrewd Senator Ryan now has a headache of trying to figure out how to rehabilitate his loyal lieutenant.
If the Baillieu-aligned Tim Wilson had run, as expected, some think he might even have won in these extraordinary circumstances.
More generally, some in the anti-Baillieu camp think Helen Kroger might be demonstrating more feisty fighting than her Senate preselection rival, Scott Ryan. Both are thought keen to avoid the #3 Senate death-seat. But some think Ryan’s slack staffer might portend ominously. Some are suspicious that Ted’s forces might insert glam-candidate 1TP staffer and lawyer John Pesutto into the Senate preselection process just to shock and terrify all. “He’s definitely running for something,” one observer noted as he strolled state council promenade.
While we await results from the Policy Assembly count, delegates speaking to VEXNEWS complained of a bizarrely lengthy Baillieu oration that ran for some 70 minutes.
â€œSeveral older delegates appeared in need of personal portable electric fans and defibrillators to survive the experience,â€ one observer explained.
We understand voting for the PA was extended to 2.30pm as a result of Baillieuâ€™s unexpectedly long remarks.
Also notable during the weekend, party insiders say, was that the Nats Leader Peter Ryan got louder cheers than Baillieu did, as those many delegates who donâ€™t rate Ted very highly at all were sending a very subversive message indeed.