01 July 2008

Alexander Downer Quits

I guess it is no fun being in opposition after a reign as Australia's longest serving Foreign Minister. Alexander Downer has pulled the plug on a rather long and somewhat distinguished political career.

There are, as in any long career, a couple of moments that could have run better that might have seen him as Prime Minister rather than Foreign Minister. Unfortunately, the comment that undid him and saw him dumped as Liberal Leader was a stupid attempt at humour through a play on words.

The former Foreign Minister is moving into a part-time United Nations role as Special Envoy for Cyprus. The major role here is thought to be an effort to revive the peace process between the Greeks and the Turks over Cyprus.

This means that there will be a need for a by-election in his seat of Mayo in the Adelaide Hills. This has always been a pretty safe Liberal seat and it is currently held by 7.1%. This is after a swing of 6.5% against Downer at the last election. However, with the recent results in the Gippsland by-election showing a swing away from Labor, it is expected that this will become a much safer Liberal seat at the by-election.

Labor is even considering the option of not running a candidate which suggests that they are a little bit concerned about being humiliated as the electorate has had a little time to re-evaluate their decision to elect a Labor government.

Anyway, good luck to the fella!

No comments: