Goldstein News – December 2007
No doubt all Liberals will be extremely disappointed, even devastated, following the election result. There has already been an avalanche of analysis of our defeat and advice about what we need to do going forward. I don’t propose to go over that ground here, except to say that with discipline and focus we can get ourselves into a winning position in 2010.
I extend my thanks to everyone for their efforts during the campaign. Those of us in the Parliament would not be there without your support. The Party should be proud after mounting a formidable suite of local campaigns in Victoria. I pay tribute to two valued colleagues in Phil Barresi and Stewart McArthur who unfortunately lost their seats.
I also acknowledge our fantastic candidates in Labor-held seats. We ask a lot of these men and women. They fight hard for months, making enormous personal and financial sacrifices, often with little prospect of winning their seat. But their efforts put pressure on Labor and ensure that our Senate vote is as high as possible, which in this election was crucial.
The Senate Campaign Committee, ably chaired by Jeanette Milnes, travelled around Melbourne and regional Victoria supporting various local campaigns. Helen Kroger and Scott Ryan in particular put in a Herculean effort. Advertisements targeted at lifting our Senate vote were placed in selected publications. As lead Senate candidate, I highlighted the risk of voting Green through media releases and direct mail to electorates with a high Green vote.
In addition, Sandra Mercer Moore and the Liberal Party Training Committee arranged several polling day training sessions for first-time volunteers to learn the basics of booth work and scrutineering. 10 of these sessions were conducted across the state by me, Michael Ronaldson and Scott Ryan.
It appears as though all these efforts will be rewarded with 3 Senate seats in Victoria, an outstanding result given the large national swing against us. At the time of writing, Scott Ryan is leading a close race with the Greens’ Richard Di Natale.
Whilst we have lost two Senate seats, in Tasmania and South Australia, the Coalition appears likely to retain 37 seats in the new Senate after 1 July 2008, only one vote short of the number required to oppose bad legislation. The Greens have been denied the balance of power. I look forward to serving with Helen and Scott in the Senate after 30 June.
The years ahead will be tough for the Party we all love. But we have a responsibility to the Australian people to provide good, strong opposition, to hold the new government to account and to present ourselves as a viable alternative in 2010. The work starts now.