Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally will contest the seat of Bennelong.
Announced by Opposition leader Bill Shorten on Twitter this morning, Keneally will run against Liberal MP, John Alexander in a byelection December 16.
Alexander was forced to resign this week over concerns he help dual British citizenship.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 13, 2017
Keneally is well equipped to take on the role after serving as the 42nd premier of NSW and the first woman to ever take the top job.
Despite resigning from Parliament in 2012, Keneally has retained a position with Sky News as political commentator and is still very much involved in public, political discourse.
Though Alexander holds a 10 percent margin in the polls, the seat of Bennelong has, for the last decade, been fragile. Journalist Maxine McKew famously snatched it from then Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, after his stronghold for 33 years.
Couple this with Malcolm Turnbull’s dire approval rating at present, and the debacle unravelling in Parliament with MP citizenship contention, it would be fair to surmise that nothing is predictable and no seat is guaranteed in Australia right now.
Given Keneally is a seasoned veteran and an exceptionally strong campaigner, she’s undoubtedly in with an excellent shot.
Acknowledging her underdog status in a press conference this morning, Keneally was quick to point out that she’d “never shirked from a fight”.
Keneally told reporters that she received a call from Bill Shorten over the weekend, convincing her to run. “Bill Shorten is a very persuasive man,” she said.
“I think he kind of knew that the fight for the Labor cause has not extinguished in me.
“I’m under no illusions, it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be hard,” she said.
But we’re willing to bet she’s up for the challenge.