INDEPENDENT candidate for Flinders Despi O’Connor says the main parties have “failed” to increase their relevance at the polls, and as an independent she “is likely” to be the only viable alternative to a Liberal candidate for Flinders.
There are 10 candidates standing for Flinders, including the Voices of Mornington Peninsula-backed independent Sarah Russell (“Voices return to election race with second candidate” The News 14/2/22).
“The majority of voters leaving the Liberal Party appear to have shifted their support to independent candidates,” O’Connor said.
“The ALP, the Greens and other minor parties have either failed to meaningfully increase their share of votes since 2013 or have also experienced declines.
“This pattern is remarkable in contrast with Victoria broadly, where declines in Liberal votes have led to increases in ALP vote share.
“Recent polling reveals that this trend is holding true in 2022, with an extraordinary number of voters identifying as ‘unsure’ in March 2022.”
O’Connor says her “community ties, high levels of name recognition [stemming from a year as Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor] and popular policy platform” have “groundswell support”.
She says that despite being “largely ignored by the national media”, Flinders – safely held for the Liberals by retiring MP Greg Hunt for the past 20 years – is one of the toughest fights for the Liberals in the country.