Kevin Bailey isn’t feeling much love in the leftist enclave of Batman, as doors slam in his face and insults fly.
But, as the NT News reports, at least by running as the Australian Conservatives candidate in this weekend’s by-election, he’s giving the few closet conservatives in the inner-Melbourne seat a voice at the ballot box, which the Coalition has deserted.
The energetic 57-year-old ex-SAS soldier, father of seven, and self-made businessman, who grew up as one of eight children in a three-bedroom housing commission home in Asquith, NSW, and has spent the last few years giving away much of his fortune to charity, would be the dream candidate for either Liberal or Labor. With friends on both sides of the political fence and a raw honesty that values common sense over ideology, he can attract traditional Labor voters as well as Liberals.
But he thinks both parties have “lost the plot” by pandering to identity politics and political correctness, so he joined Australian Conservatives.
“I want to send a loud message to Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull that they can only win seats with traditional conservative working people who want family values giving them our preferences, “We will not be used as the silent majority while they play identity politics.”
Bailey knows he has no chance of winning the marginal seat Labor lost when sitting MP David Feeney fell foul of citizenship laws.
But he believes he can lock out the Greens by giving his preferences to Labor, as the lesser of two evils.
While conservatives might like to deny Bill Shorten the seat, the fact is that doubling the horsepower of the Greens in the lower house would be far worse.
Last night, Australian Conservatives founder and South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi told 2GB's Deb Knight about his hopes for Batman.