A growing number of federal Labor MPs are contemplating retirements according to Club Fed sources, VEXNEWS can exclusively reveal.
Hard-working Federal MP for Chisholm Anna Burke, popular lefty Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons, painful and Ruddite Daryl Melham, grumpy teddy bear Laurie Ferguson, NSW Right patriot John Murphy, and former Minister and Left factional titan Alan Griffin have all decided not to re-contest their seats.
Chisholm, while built up to a 6.1% margin by Anna Burke, is seen as highly vulnerable to a strong Liberal campaign without her personal following. The feisty and dynamic Burke has long had a gripe that others elected at the same time as she – and with no more capacity – were promoted over the top of her, so she’s believed to be openly talking about her imminent departure without formally announcing anything just yet.
Bendigo is safer again on 9% with Gibbons seen as having a fair following too. Some in Labor circles hope Gibbons will be able to be persuaded to stay on.
Griffin’s seat of Bruce has been assiduously worked over by him too but most Labor people think it could be held even with the unpopular carbon tax looming large at the next campaign, as Liberals hope.
Both Melham and Ferguson achieved their 15 minutes of fame by angrily denying the veracity of ABC reports of a leadership spill against Kevin Rudd which turned out to be rather well-informed. They are in safe seats, to the extent they exist for Labor in NSW these days.
John Murphy – a good man who has vigorously fought the good fight against over-zealous portion-control at “The Trough” and other Parliament House eateries – is in the now marginal seat of Reid which was strangely mostly the re-badged seat of Lowe.
With NSW Labor’s stocks what they are, it seems likely to be a struggle to hold it too.
Labor insiders tell VEXNEWS there could be even more voluntary departures given how bad the polls are for the federal government at the moment. Political analysts continue to express surprise that Victoria “the Massachusetts of the South” and South Australia still show the ALP is relatively strong compared with rather dire numbers elsewhere.