Dutton on track to crush Albanese

by ERIC ABETZ – PARTICIPATION awards are those lame awards that ensure every participant walks away with something in their hand. 

Victoria’s Dunkley by-election result on Saturday delivered a similar result for the two major Parties. The hapless Greens, whilst participating, suffered a substantial decrease in voter support. 

If the Dunkley by-election result was replicated Australia-wide, the country would be led by Peter Dutton and the Liberals.
Eric Abetz
Former Federal Senator

To the victor the spoils and there is no doubt that Labor won the seat of Dunkley with a degree of reserve in the margin despite a sizeable swing.

A win is a win and Labor’s Jodie Belyea goes to Canberra as the popularly elected member.


On any assessment, this is a good result for Labor’s public relations machine which will simply chalk up the result as another win and “nothing to be seen here” mantra.

However, the result is more complex than such a shallow analysis would suggest.

First-term governments usually do better in by-elections than in subsequent terms.

Labor is still in its first term although some might think it has been a lot longer.

On average the by-election swing for a first term government hovers at about 1.5 per cent. The Dunkley result suggests a swing twice that size.

Postal votes are still to be counted and usually favour the Coalition Parties.

On that basis, a doubling of the usual swing can be confidently asserted.

That is a real and important morale boost for Peter Dutton, the leader of the Opposition, and his team, as it comes off the back of the emphatic “No” vote to the Voice referendum championed by Labor.

Many factors should be concerning for Labor. It was the incumbent. It was a new government.

It was a by-election occasioned by the untimely, tragic and unfortunate death of the previous sitting member (Peta Murphy to breast cancer).

The latter evoked sympathy and allowed the Labor Party to avoid the usual public outcry as to why they are being dragged to the polls again.


The normal attacks of why someone resigned their seat for personal gain or consideration were understandably absent in this by-election.

Despite these advantages playing to Labor, the swing against it was substantial. If replicated Australia-wide, the country would be led by Peter Dutton.

From the Liberal perspective there will be, or should be, substantial disappointment that the mid-term hiccups from which all first-term governments suffer, were not capitalised on sufficiently to turn the seat over.

There were the teething issues, the ASIO revelation on recruitment by foreign players, the return of the “boat people”, the tax cuts backflip, the mid-term blues generally, and the big one – the cost of living.

Yet a six per cent swing in primary votes is a healthy result.

The one participant who takes nothing away from the result is the Greens, with a three-plus percentage decrease in their vote.

At a time when the cost of living is biting the populace, many look for policy based on practical outcomes.


The Greens’ strong suit of emotional platitudes did not cut it with the punters. The drop in Greens support, while relatively small as a percentage, represented the loss of about one-third of their voter base.

Possibly their ugly anti-Israel stance has also evoked a response.

Interestingly, by-elections normally provide the opportunity for protest voting, but this by-election saw a swing to the two established Parties.

However, this also may have been due to the non-participation of One Nation and the United Australia Party (UAP).

In short, we have a Labor win, but it was a morale-boosting and potentially general election-winning outcome for Peter Dutton’s Liberals.PC

Eric Abetz

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Peter Dutton (L) & Anthony Albanese.  (courtesy The Sun-Herald)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Epoch Times on March 3, 2024. Re-used with permission.

5 thoughts on “Dutton on track to crush Albanese

  1. “On track to crush” Not without adressing the Net Zero CO2 economic bleed and the Covid health disaster

  2. How the Victorians handed Labor another win is proof of how the simple minded and uniformed are easily led astray . Right Now Australia is being run via the CCP .

  3. The only real chance Dutton and LNP have is if they denounce woke politicians like Turnbull and kick them out of the Party! Then they must go after Nuclear technology diligently and take the risk there are enough like minded people in this country that wish to be Prosperous and independent of government lies like Labor/Greens propose! We need to strengthen our immigration requirements and reject any that will not obey our Laws and culture! Don’t agree with our constitution then feel free to leave with only what you brought! Time to really stand and be counted and not Labor/green lite 🙁

  4. Sorry Eric,unless Peter can get back to a true Conservative party a la before Turnbull & get rid of the Labor/Lites,little chance of winning.

  5. If the Liberal Party takes any heart from the Dunkley by-election, they are deluded. The main reason they boosted their vote was the lack of One Nation and United Party candidates at the election. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the Libs. As usual, the Green votes got Labor over the line on preferences, and this will continue in key electorates until the Libs realise that the Green preferences (even the reduced number such as in Dunkley) are as much of a threat as the Labor Party itself. The Libs have little or no muscular and principled policies on offer to expose the nuttiness of Greens policies and to be anything other than Labor-lite. When centre-right parties boldly state clear and well-thought-out policies and test them in the public forum wellll before election time, they win. Ringing example is Javier Milei in Argentina. PM Meloni in Italy, Boris Johnson in the Brexit election, Tony Abbott in 2013 (Axe the Tax and Stop the Boats), Geert Wilders in Holland, etc., etc. Clear examples of Centre-right crafting of punchy policies that demolish the Left and point the way to workable victories at the ballot box. The Libs here are a spent force.


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