AFR: Australia’s 10 most powerful people in 2022, 30th Sept 2022

AFR: Australia’s 10 most powerful people in 2022, 30th Sept 2022

Number 4. Teal independents

From political novices to electoral giant killers, teal independents Kate Chaney, Sophie Scamps, Allegra Spender, Kylea Tink, Zoe Daniel and Monique Ryan have redrawn the lines of power in federal parliament.

Part of the largest ever crossbench in the House of Representatives, the group – backed up by David Pocock in the Senate – already forms a critical pressure point for Labor and has wiped out the next generation of Liberal moderates.

Together their power could keep the Coalition out of office, denying Peter Dutton a path to the prime ministership. Having harnessed widespread dissatisfaction with the political ruling class, the teals are high profile and articulate. Time will tell who of them becomes the first among equals.

What the panel says

The Liberal Party is going to find it very hard to attract female voters back because they’ve alienated the female vote in a public, visceral way. Scott Morrison led the way on that by having no senior women advising him and by his clumsy approach to women. Nicola Wakefield Evans

The teals now regard themselves as a political movement, not a political party. But as a political movement, they have effectively become, overnight, the Liberal Party’s DLP. It’s structurally impossible for the Liberal Party to win an election without reconciling the seats that the teals have won off them. I think that makes the teals deeply socially and politically significant and currently, much more so than the Greens. Stephen Smith

If I was Simon Holmes à Court, I’d be asking which are the four or five Labor seats we pick off next election, like McNamara etcetera, to make sure no bugger ever gets a majority again. John Scales

Clive Palmer ran campaigns on broadcast TV while the teal candidates campaigned on social and catch-up TV, where you can geotarget very effectively by location. Dee Madigan

If I had known that Kate Chaney wanted to run for Curtin, I would have moved heaven and earth to have someone with her business background follow me. The same with Kylea Tink and Allegra Spender. They are absolutely the sort of women that the Liberal Party should have wanted to preselect. Julie Bishop



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