The Federal Labor party is girding its loins for a costly and disruptive run of up to four by-elections after the High Court rules on the constitutional status of shadow minister Katy Gallagher.
News Limited reports, the critical ruling, which could start a round of campaigning following the May Budget, is expected after the Easter break. And this will provide the Australian Conservatives the opportunity to run candidates in the four key seats.
Pessimistic legal advice to party chiefs points to Senator Gallagher being forced out on the grounds of dual citizenship, and a flow-on to others in “different-but-similar” circumstances.
The possible additional casualties could include Labor’s Susan Lamb in the Queensland seat of Longman, Justine Keay in the Tasmanian seat of Braddon, Josh Wilson in the West Australian seat of Fremantle, and the Nick Xenophon Team’s Rebekha Sharkie (pictured) in the South Australian seat of Mayo.
The Liberals would harbour desires of regaining Longman and Mayo and Braddon.
And the by-elections could be portrayed as mini plebiscites on the Government and Labor’s competing tax policies.
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