Preselection dramas and drama queens


Preselection dramas and drama queens


The Malvern preselection showed that party members were weary of the party tearing itself apart. Michael “glass jaw” O’Brien went to social media to make some bizarre comments before, during and after his preselection.

Michael O’Brien, who might better serve as a circus attendant, dog groomer or handmaiden’s confidant, had some hypocritical comments about “plastic factional power brokers”. Surely Michael O’Brien was describing his good friend Ian Quick, because plastic can be found no where else in the party.

The sunny Malvern preselection was filled with a legion of geriatrics who came out to support the ailing former Opposition Leader. Hugh Morgan’s son also ran a drinks session – being awarded by The Age as Melbourne’s third best fundraiser – to support bureaucrat O’Brien’s low energy return.

Say what you like about the bitter and resentful O’Brien, he had just enough numbers to keep afloat. Thanks especially to Higgins powerbroker, Kelly O’Dwyer, whose barrage of phone canvassing helped Michael win against credible challenger and local councillor Alex Lew.

One member wryly commented that, “Kelly knows how to stand by her man.” Some told Kelly where to get off while the gullible swallowed very word.

The real challenger was Virginia Wallace, a surprisingly suitable candidate who was looked over because of her lack of factional credentials.

By all accounts the Malvern preselection was “boring” with perennial chair Greg Hannan having to ask the questions while the geriatric audience slept and dreamt of a game of billiards or checkers. But there was no queen’s gambit here, with insecure oddball Michael O’Brien winning the day.


David Davis’ coronation turned into his funeral, with Josh Frydenberg triumphant behind former Young Liberals president Jess Wilson.

Jess cruised to victory backed by the Frydenberg A-team Simon Frost, Michael Kroger, Ron Wilson, James Paterson and IPA friends.

While potential haters of all stripes found great glee in writing off Josh’s influence, Frydenberg dished out his best for the future of the party with Jess being set to join Matthew Guy’s team as part of the push to reinvigorate the party. The fresh-faced Jess has a strong pedigree as daughter of Ron Wilson.

Monica Clark got painfully close, in fact just two votes away, from David Davis in the third round. David Davis’ lack of support indicates that a challenge to the upper house mischief maker is likely, as a shopping list of Davis’ enemies will no doubt appear to hasten his demise.


The beach side bums and billionaires of Brighton returned Labor Newbury despite the campaign run by the DLP and the Shooters and Fishers against him. It was a painful lesson in humility for Newbury, but he was rewarded with a win in the first round of balloting.

Jane Hume staffer Colleen Harkin and perpetual loser Felicity Frederico were both seen off.

Preselectors were turned away at the door, probably due to the meddling hand of Robert Clark, who has no love for Matthew Guy supporters.

Felicity whinged about the results to her factional supporters, who were visibly disappointed at her third defeat. Tim Wilson’s fingerprints were all over the challenge, and they had the “Jan Millard of Bayside” Vicki Grove do their dirty work contacting delegates trying to bad mouth Newbury.


Old wounds are set to be reopened in Ringwood with the main battle being between party identity Cynthia Watson and backroom operator David Kitchen. Apparently there’s someone else running, but no one has ever heard of them before.

Cynthia is a former mayor and has been active in the party for many years. Her bid is expected to be supported by Simon Barry.

Meanwhile political numbers man, David Kitchen, has been working the State Council delegate list.

The contest is fairly even, with both major candidates able to turn Ringwood pale blue again. Even Michael Sukkar has taken a leaf from the Frydenberg model and endorsed both candidates.

No doubt the Ringwood preselectors will snooze through this vanilla preselection.


The battle of the beige is rising in Ashwood with the uncharismatic and boring main candidates. It just doesn’t sound exciting to say it will be a Asher Judah versus Graham Watt matchup. Joining them is female hopeful Lana Collaris.

Asher is well known for his hard work in the party, running the Marginal Seats Army flying squads letter boxing in support of council candidates and upcoming election candidates. He is being attacked by Ian Quick forces for his budget overspend on the Bentleigh campaign.

Graham Watt, who enjoys wearing electric blue, is on his post wedding high with minor party sampler Rachel Watt-Carling-Jenkins. Graham has been an MP before so he seems a credible choice.

Michelle Brewty has already pulled the pin on her nomination. Members were surprised that anyone would be courageous enough to get an endorsement from Karina Okotel.

Upbeat lawyer Lana Collaris is hoping for the women’s vote, but it looks like it will come down to a fairly even battle between Graham and Asher.


Rumours are beginning to surface that all factions’ nemesis, Sean Armistead, is preparing to challenge popular upper house member Craig Ondarchie.

Rumour has it that Ian Quick is considering whether to back Josh Morris for the Western Region after being embroiled in a behind the scenes spat between Robert Clark and Amy Johnson.

Another rumour says that a wide ranging conspiracy involving Guy, Frydenberg and Sukkar aligned forces are secretly preparing to unseat waste of space member Gordon Rich-Phillips.

It is no secret that a wealthy business owner has offered financial incentives to anyone who will challenge Bernie Finn. Even Matthew Guy has made it clear he wants Bernie to go. Perhaps Andrew Elsbury will make a comeback?

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