At the height of a cost-of-living crisis, in a news cycle marred by global uncertainty and harrowing images of war and tragedy – the Liberal Party has failed to land a blow on the Albanese government at the Dunkley by-election.

In a marginal outer-suburban seat full of No-Voters who are up to their eyeballs in mortgage stress, the Labor party managed to retain the South-East Melbourne electorate with ALP candidate Jodie Belyea claiming more than 52 per cent of the vote.

However, Peter Dutton and the rest of the Federal Opposition are today patting themselves on the back for not losing the seat as badly as they could have.

This arguable boost in electability has been given plenty of airtime by both the Costello and Murdoch newspapers, who have twisted and stretched every headline to reframe Labor’s By-Election win in Dunkley as ‘a warning for Albanese’.

With the streets of Frankston and surrounds absolutely plastered in far-right propaganda about ‘foreign criminals’ – the Liberal Party is confident in their new strategy of using brazen racism and xenophobia to win over a crucial demographic of swing voters that not one poll or survey has identified as even existing.

And while this was not enough to overcome the Liberal Party’s very real ‘women problem’ – the 3.6% swing has left Dutton and his colleagues buoyed with optimism that this whole anti-immigrant thing could work at a real election.

Political analysts say that the Liberals had already lost Dunkley the moment they selected Frankston Mayor Nathan Conroy as the candidate over two seemingly competent female candidates.

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

Conroy lost to Jodie Belyea, a Labor candidate who helps run women’s shelters and other programmes for disadvantaged female constituents.

In a last minute effort to address the women problem, The Liberals asked Sussan Ley to tweet about women being assaulted by immigrants. Unfortunately, this was not enough.

One of the few females in the Victorian Liberal Party, MP Zoe McKenzie has been severely reprimanded by her male colleagues for ‘naivety’ and ‘zero political judgement’ after posting a congratulations and heart-felt tribute to Labor’s victorious Dunkley candidate Jodie Beylea.


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