Controversial Katherine Devas, a Liberal candidate in Warringah, was defeated by incumbent independent Zali Steggall in the election.
Mr. Steggall’s seat was vacated by the Australian at 7.40 pm
“Isn’t it incredible?” Ms. Steggall made the remarks at her victory celebration.
For the past four years, the “activity and passion” of Ms. Steggall’s family, coworkers, and the 1400 volunteers she relied on haven’t waned.
She praised the “great passion and vision for what politics can be” of these folks behind the scenes.
On top of all that, the area was once again in the limelight because of Ms. Deves’ controversial views on transgender persons, which Ms. Steggall had previously defeated Tony Abbott in.
Following the discovery of previously deleted Twitter messages in which Ms. Deves referred to transgender teenagers as “surgically mutilated and sterilized,” there was quite a bit of controversy around her. She apologized at first, but then defended her remarks.
There is conjecture that Prime Minister Scott Morrison used Ms. Deves as a “captain’s pick” candidate to magnify contentious views that could connect with voters in other parts of the country, which is why he chose her.
As a member of the ABC’s election night panel, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham gave an honest appraisal of his own party’s decision to field Ms Deves.
According to Mr. Deves, Mr. Abbott had been performing at a far lower level just three years prior.
Warringah’s 2019 election result was catastrophic to the Liberal Party, in my opinion.” It was “surreal” to witness a previous Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, fall so utterly, Mr Birmingham remarked.
In contrast, seeing the Liberal vote fall by 7 percentage points (tonight) sends a strong message,” he explains.
For me, Warringah exemplifies what Australians stand for in terms of valuing and honouring differences and valuing inclusivity and inclusion over exclusion. Aside from wanting people to respect their lives, Australians also have a deep and genuine respect for the lives of other people.
Warringah may have had a spillover effect on other Liberal seats, I’m afraid. The proper values are held by some (candidates), yet they may come at a significant cost.
“That sounds like you’re delivering a really strong message to members of your own party,” said host Leigh Sales.
In his response, he said, “I think these are concerns we will definitely address.”
It’s not enough to have candidates who embody these ideals, as Dave Sharma and Trent Zimmerman undoubtedly do, “we must guarantee that the party itself respects these values” if the Liberal Party is to grow and be competitive in seats like Warringah and North Sydney and Wentworth.
When asked whether he held Mr Morrison responsible for the pre-selection of the Warringah candidate, Mr Birmingham stated that he did not hold Mr Morrison responsible. He did, however, admit that the party had made “major mistakes.”