I live in the electorate of North Sydney, a very safe Liberal seat on Sydney’s North Shore (10% swing required for Labor to win). It has been held by Independents in the past (the legendary Ted Mack), but there isn’t one around at the moment with the right level of local following. Although Larvatus Prodeo thought it was interesting enough to profile for the campaign, I thought they must just be doing it because they had a person available who knew about it.
Turns out the Liberals must be feeling a bit pressured as well. Today they announced a classic piece of pork barrelling – $25m to save Graythwaite – a local historic house with beautiful gardens, which has been left to decay by the state government as an aged care centre for the last few decades.
It’s a new experience for me, living in a marginal seat. I am a fan of Graythwaite, and saving old houses if possible. But I’m not sure that the pork barrelling has much chance of changing my vote. It seems a little too blatant to me.
Having met both candidates on Sunday out on the campaign trail at a local street fair, I think Joe Hockey is pretty safe. He was happy to chat and shake hands with anyone, while his famous (ex ABC weatherman) opponent Mike Bailey, preferred to chat with his staffer, in a defensive gesture I well recognised, not being a great networker myself.