For those who haven’t been exposed by the charity work of the Costello and Murdoch newspapers, Peter Dutton’s inability to win back a marginal electorate full of mortgage-distressed boomers during a cost-of-living crisis is being reported as ‘A warning for Albanese’.

As was confirmed early on Saturday evening by the ABC’s expert elections analyst Antony Green, Labor has won the Federal by-election in the South-East Melbourne seat of Dunkley by a margin that nobody but the Liberals will be losing sleeping over.

The seat had been left vacant by the untimely passing of the staunch advocate for breast cancer survivors, Peta Murphy.

The Liberal Party’s handpicked young star, Frankston mayor and Scomo-lookalike Nathan Conroy lost to Jodie Belyea – a Labor candidate who helps run women’s shelters and other programmes for disadvantaged female constituents.

It is not yet certain whether the Liberals thought they stood any chance of winning this seat at the by-election, however, Dutton is being accused of entering the race with a cocky attitude.

The Leader Of The Opposition reportedly flew to Perth for just an hour to attend the 70th birthday party of the mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, flying an overnight round-trip cross-country before returning to Melbourne to campaign on cost-of-living issues in the streets of Frankston and surrounds.

After being convincingly carted at the ballot, Peter Dutton and the Liberal Party’s top brass have continued to pat themselves on the back for claiming a 3.6% swing towards them in the absence of One Nation and Clive Palmer candidates.

This by-election result, which had been predicted by Labor themselves, has now been reframed by Australia’s leading media publishers as a win for Dutton – and a scary insight for the ‘things to come’ for the Prime Minister.

Dutton’s complete indifference to the contest and subsequent celebrations of a convincing loss has led to some pundits to suggest that he might be trying a new bazball approach to winning government.

“It feels like we’ve won, lads.” wrote Dutton, in his secret group chat with Kerry Stokes, Peter Costello and Rupert Murdoch.

“A moral win anyway”

The similarities between the toffy British cricket establishment and Australian Liberal Party branch meetings only confirms this theory that The opposition is now playing bazball.


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