Josh Friedenberg puts the fate of his political future in the hands of “quiet Australians”, as new polls show that he is in real danger of losing his seat to an independent candidate.
According to a YouGov MRP poll, which was commissioned exclusively for News Corp., the treasurer has lost his place to the so-called independent “circus” Monique Ryan.
But Mr Friedenberg says he accepts any polls suggesting he faces political death “with a can of salt” and he believes what Scott Morrison calls “quiet Australians”.
“There’s still a long way to go and the fight will be tough, but … I’ve been working in my local community for the last 12 years,” Mr Friedenberg told Sky News.
According to the poll, if the election had taken place today, Labor would have won 80 seats in parliament – 12 from the coalition and a majority of five seats.
Liberal seats with the blue ribbon in Melbourne, Kuyonga and Goldstein will go to independent candidates who received funding from the Climate 200.
Mr Friedenberg says he does not see the poll as a gospel.
“We know that from the last time people wrote us off, but the Australians gave a completely different result,” Mr Friedenberg said.
“There are a lot of quiet Australians, as the prime minister calls them.
“John Howard called them his fights. Sir Robert Menzies called them forgotten people, and in the United Kingdom they are called “shy Tories”.
“Essentially, these are people who can’t answer every poll or phone call … they’re busy with their daily lives … and they know that Scott Morrison and the Coalition were the best economic managers.”
Mr Friedenberg said he was “very disappointed” to hear that former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was demanding that disenfranchised liberals turn their backs on the coalition and support the independents.
“Monique Ryan called Malcolm Turnbull a national disgrace, and I doubt Malcolm wants to support someone who called him a national disgrace,” he said.
“I am very focused on winning my place, but more importantly, for the coalition to keep the government – we have very strong arguments for re-election.”
Based on a sample of nearly 19,000 voters nationwide, a YouGov poll showed
Losses for the coalition could be extensive, including four seats in Victoria, two in New Wales, two in the WA and one each in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
Six more places are considered too close to be named.
To retain power, the coalition will need at least three percent in key positions.
A spokesman for the Labor campaign, Jason Claire, said that when he was “skeptical” of the polls, he had a feeling that “people are not on the right track with Scott Morrison”.
“(People) are fed up with lies, malice, excuses and incompetence,” Mr Claire said in an interview with Nine Network.
“(People) want something better. We can make childcare cheaper, we can fix nursing care, we can make Medicare stronger, and we can make it easier to buy a home. ”