Labor talks down hopes of snatching Fadden by-election from LNP

Labor doubts it can pull off another by-election upset, saying it will be extraordinarily difficult to wrest the Queensland seat of Fadden from the coalition.

Voters in the Gold Coast seat go to the polls on Saturday with LNP candidate Cameron Caldwell the strong favourite to win.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of former minister Stuart Robert, who held the seat at the 2022 election with a 10.6 per cent margin.

Despite Labor’s targeting of Mr Robert in advertising highlighting his role in the robodebt scandal, the party is talking down the prospects of a win.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers, who also hails from Queensland, will be handing out how-to-vote cards for candidate Letitia Del Fabbro.

“It’s going to be extraordinarily difficult,” he told The Conversation.

‘Wonderful candidate’

“Despite the fact that we’ve got a wonderful candidate in Letitia Del Fabbro, I don’t think anybody expects that seat to change hands and that’s because by-elections are good for oppositions rather than for governments.”

Labor managed a shock win in the Victorian Liberal seat of Aston in April.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was less confident his party could pull off a similar victory.

“I don’t expect anything like the Aston by-election result,” he told reporters in Jordan Springs, NSW on Friday.

“That was an extraordinary result the first time in 100 years that the government have won a seat off the opposition.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has urged voters to “look forward, not back”, pointing to government inaction on the cost of living and crime as key issues.

The Greens, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Australian Democrats are also contesting the seat, with 13 candidates on the ballot paper.

Mr Robert served as the veterans’ affairs, national disability insurance scheme and government services minister under the Turnbull and Morrison governments.


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