Liberals to retain Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook in Saturday’s by-election

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Scott Morrison’s successor in Cook is expected to be the Liberal candidate Simon Kennedy, but he won’t be able to vote for himself.

Mr Kennedy, a former executive with consultancy firm McKinsey, has only just moved into the electorate in Sydney’s south and stood in the seat of Bennelong, on the other side of the city, in 2022.

But that is not expected to change the outcome.

Cook is one of the safest Liberal seats in the country.

Mr Morrison retained the Sutherland Shire electorate with a 12.4 per cent margin in 2022 – although down from 19 per cent in 2019 – after he picked up almost two thirds of the two-party preferred vote.

Mr Kennedy isn’t facing much of a fight after the Labor Party decided not to stand a candidate in Saturday’s by-election.

said low voter turnout could be because some locals are unhappy with the Liberal Party’s selection of Mr Kennedy, who did not live in the electorate when he beat out the local mayor and a popular advocate in preselection.

Pollster Kos Samaras said voter disenchantment and Labor’s decision not to run a candidate could create a “perfect storm” for the party to actually lose some of their margin.

Five other candidates are on the ballot, including the Greens candidate Martin Moore who is tipped to run second.

Voter apathy for the by-election is concerning the Australian Electoral Commission.

Voter turnout for by-elections is traditionally lower than a full federal election, but the AEC said they were concerned by how few people had voted early in Cook and had put out “more communication for a single by-election than we’ve ever done”.

Polls open at 8am and close at 6pm when counting will start.

More to come

Read related topics:Scott Morrison