20 April, 2024
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Labor preselects Mary Doyle as candidate for Aston by-election


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Breast-cancer survivor Mary Doyle will aim to put health care on the national agenda in her bid to win the seat of Aston from the Liberals.

Ms Doyle was on Thursday selected by Labor to take a second shot at the Victorian seat in the upcoming by-election.

Retiring Liberal MP Alan Tudge received an 11.6 per cent swing against him in the seat but managed to hold on to it.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged it would be difficult for Labor to win the seat as a sitting government hadn’t won a by-election in more than 100 years.

He said the Liberal Party would be the favourites, “if they get around to selecting a candidate”.

The Liberals are still seeking a candidate to replace Mr Tudge, with senior members pushing to ensure a female candidate is preselected.

While Mr Tudge announced his intention to resign last week, he hasn’t taken steps to formalise it which means a by-election date has not been set.

“We are very early on selecting (Labor’s) candidate, Mary was pre-selected unopposed because the locals really wanted her to run again,” Mr Albanese told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“She ran less than a year ago … and she received almost an 8 per cent swing, so it’s now sitting around 53 per cent whereas it was above 60, I think, before the election.”

“She’s someone who would make an outstanding member of parliament.”

Raised in Echuca, Ms Doyle was diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-20s.

The prime minister said the full-time working single mum knew the importance of a strong Medicare.

“Mary is an exceptional candidate,” he said.

“She joined the Labor Party because she believes in ensuring that workers have secure wages and better rights at work, as well as the importance of Medicare – something that the Liberal Party constantly undermined during their 10 years in government.”

Mr Tudge narrowly held on to the outer Melbourne seat by 2.8 per cent at the 2022 poll.

Former Victorian upper house MP Cathrine Burnett-Wake announced on Monday she would nominate for the Liberals.

The former Yarra Ranges councillor said she had been encouraged to run by Aston community members and spruiked her connection to the electorate, including her children attending a local school in Wantirna South.

Another potential candidate is Melbourne City councillor Roshena Campbell.


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