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WILKIE OR WON’T HE? Nervous “Independent” MP plans to bump himself up to the Senate


Persian carpet vendor turned politician Andrew Wilkie knows how to cut a deal. He’s already looking to the next election and worried about Liberal plans to do all they can to make him pay for putting Labor into government and disrespecting private conversations with Tony Abbott, he’s said to be plotting a run for the Senate, where he hopes his profile and the Tassie tradition of electing independents will help him stay in Club Fed.

“Independent” Tasmanian federal MP Andrew Wilkie is so worried about losing his seat of Denison that he is planning to run for the Senate and is consulting friends and donors about it, sources familiar with the matter have told VEXNEWS exclusively.

The “Independent” has refused to publicly disclose the secret identity of his donor base, despite calling for an end to secretive, corrosive “money-politics.

Wilkie – whose anti-pokies crusade has now turned into a moralising attack on online gaming – is thought highly unlikely to attract crucial Liberal preferences next time, as punishment for his parliamentary performance including supporting Labor to form a government and then repeatedly breaking confidences involving private discussions with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his team.

Labor sources say they are hopeful they’ll be able to take back their heartland seat which is a mix of half working-families and the other half the Tassie equivalent of inner-city leftistes. Considerable resources will be devoted to unseating him, despite his support of the Gillard government in the House of Representatives.

The eccentric Wilkie is no fool and has been hoping to build his profile, insiders say, across all of Tasmania, ahead of attempting to shoe-horn himself into the Senate as a new version of Brian Harradine.

As a former Persian carpet salesman, he knows how to cut a deal and might attempt to trade his all-important Reps vote for early commitments on Senate preferences, said one observer familiar with the brand of realpolitik played by the cunning member.


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  1. Just about the most stupid ‘news’ you’ve ever written. Look at the numbers, look at Wilkie’s primary vote and tell me you have any idea about the Tasmanian senate position.

    Come on, be honest, you just made this up after a big Saturday night out, didn’t you?

    Posted by Wendy | March 6, 2011, 8:53
  2. The eccentric Wilkie is no fool. Quite right.
    Self-aggrandising drama queen, yes. But no fool.

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | March 6, 2011, 10:49
  3. I think Wilkie is looking for doorway out he hasn’t already crapped in, can’t see him or Oakshotte surviving long, it’s not like they resonate with their constituents like Katter and Wilkie has effectively proved he’s a gutless troublemaker and attention seeker rather than in any form independent. The again you could say that about the greens party in general.

    Posted by Simon | March 6, 2011, 11:21
  4. They look like a pair of asylum escapees.

    Or possibly pirates. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

    Posted by Blah Blah | March 6, 2011, 12:10
  5. Wilkie will be hunted by the Tasmanian ALP like they’ve never done before. Franklin and Lyons are safe so they’ll send their full forces into the northern suburbs of Denison.

    If I were him I’d be looking at the Senate.

    @Wendy I’m not sure what you’re seeing regarding his primary vote. He had the lowest primary vote of any elected member at the 2010 election. Without Lib preferences he will be volnerable.

    Posted by Rana | March 6, 2011, 12:51
  6. Correct – Wilkie is no fool.

    Unlike the fool sitting next to him.

    Posted by North Coast | March 6, 2011, 14:56
  7. It will be interesting to see how Oakeshotte’s protege in the upcoming NSW election, Peter Besseling, fares.
    Word on the street is that he’s gone, and The Nationals are hoping to win back the state seat of Port Macquarie.
    Were I Tony Abbott, I’d be ratchetting up the political pressure on Oakeshotte, and Windsor, both of whom appear very unsettled, as they realise their conservative constituents are none too happy.

    Posted by Mitchell Observer | March 6, 2011, 19:45
  8. Reading Wendy’s comments it’s almost as if she hasn’t been around the internet long enough to know not to feed the trolls.


    Posted by CSM | March 6, 2011, 20:56
  9. Ricky Nixon do the honourable thing, there is nothing else to do when you have reached the lows that you have reached. ‘Take your own life’ – as you are nothing more than the lowest scum on earth! There is no other way, as we will keep reminding your family of your actions for years.

    Posted by Justice | March 6, 2011, 23:18
  10. Wilkie a former Persian carpet salesman? Is THAT so?! I’d say he’s about as shonky as the redoubtable and very, VERY dodgy Prince Rizwan!

    Posted by Observer | March 7, 2011, 8:55
  11. Is it me, or is Wilkie a bit of a spunk?

    Posted by Craig | March 7, 2011, 10:27
  12. Independants do have good form in holding on after first sneaking in but if Wilkie can get out im sure its the best option as next election i doubt too many in the electorate care much for another parliament of compromise.

    Posted by Sotherby | March 7, 2011, 12:05
  13. my daddy says he should try serving in a Federal and State parliament – then you can get 2 pensions!

    Posted by not Mike Baird | March 7, 2011, 13:38
  14. These independents won’t vote to bring back Work Choices.

    They’re Useless.


    Posted by JB | March 7, 2011, 19:13
  15. Fark!!! Who mentioned work choices? You’ll get fegan excited!!

    Posted by We will never forget | March 7, 2011, 21:01
  16. There is no doubt that the member for Denison will cannibalise the Greens vote in the Senate were he to run. I would encourage it. Given a choice between a crack pot and a crank, I think the Liberals will preference him ahead of the crank (isn’t it the leader of the Greens up next time)? No wonder that wiley wicked wacky Wendy is aghast. In a half Senate, it will come down to Wilkie v Green for #6 – assuming 3 to the ALP and 2 to the Libs with the Libs holding a large surplus. In a full Senate, it will be 5 ALP, 4 Libs, 1 Green and 3 up for grabs – probably ALP, Lib and Wilkie on current voting trends in Tasmania. All Wilkie needs is enough votes to do a Harradine. Shouldn’t be too hard – all he needs is to push the Hobart Hospital and poker machines and not support anything too rabid.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 7, 2011, 22:53
  17. So excited. I just can’t hide it.

    Posted by F | March 7, 2011, 22:58
  18. Hey Guiseppe – ALP has a 30% vote now and falling how the hell do you figure your Senate numbers? The ALP wil be dead in 20 years

    Posted by ansteybranchopolous | March 8, 2011, 11:48
  19. Zoran no convinced about this one, mike.

    Posted by ZORAN KIDNEY | March 11, 2011, 17:13
  20. …not about ALP being dead in 20 year…but whole Wilkie yarn….

    Posted by ZORAN KIDNEY | March 11, 2011, 17:13


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