Greens eye Cunningham in ambitious plan to win seats

They’ve won it before and the Greens say they can get their hands on the Wollongong federal electorate of Cunningham once more. The seat, which has been held by Labor’s Sharon Bird since 2004, is among seven NSW electorates the party has targeted in an ambitious plan to win 25 lower house seats over the next 25 years.

The Greens most recent challenger for Cunningham, Cath Blakey, polled 14.65 per cent of the primary vote at the 2016 federal election, a swing of 3.3 per cent towards the party.Ms Blakey was elected to Wollongong City Council in September and said her foremost focus was on being a councillor.

 “We know there’s a lot of support from the community for the Greens, but we’re mindful we’ve got to get stuff done locally,” she said.“We’re not in the electoral game just for the election. We actually want to get stuff done locally to make a difference to our lives.”

Read the article by Andrew Pearson in The Illawarra Mercury, 21 November 2017

Greens eye Cunningham in ambitious plan to win seats          

Greens leader Richard Di Natale says his party can win Cunningham, the Illawarra seat currently held by Labor's Sharon Bird.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale says his party can win Cunningham, the Illawarra seat currently held by Labor's Sharon Bird.

They’ve won it before and the Greens say they can get their hands on the Wollongong federal electorate of Cunningham once more. 

The seat, which has been held by Labor’s Sharon Bird since 2004, is among seven NSW electorates the party has targeted in an ambitious plan to win 25 lower house seats over the next 25 years.

The Greens most recent challenger for Cunningham, Cath Blakey, polled 14.65 per cent of the primary vote at the 2016 federal election, a swing of 3.3 per cent towards the party.

Ms Blakey was elected to Wollongong City Council in September and said her foremost focus was on being a councillor.

 “We know there’s a lot of support from the community for the Greens, but we’re mindful we’ve got to get stuff done locally,” she said.

“We’re not in the electoral game just for the election. We actually want to get stuff done locally to make a difference to our lives.”

Greens leader Richard Di Natale used the party’s national conference at the weekend, which also marked 25 years of the Australian Greens, to outline the hit list of 25 winnable federal seats. 

The NSW list of seven also included the Labor-held seats of Sydney, Grayndler, Newcastle and Richmond, as well as the Liberal seats held by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Wentworth) and Tony Abbott (Warringah).

Mr Di Natale said the ambitious plan was an achievable one. 

“The Greens are growing across the country and Cunningham is no exception,” he told the Mercury

“We had a strong showing in Cunningham at the last election and in Wollongong at the most recent local council elections.”

Mr Di Natale said Mr Organ was the first Greens MP ever in the lower house.

“We already have a demonstrated example of the Greens winning this seat under the right conditions,” he said.

Ms Bird said the Greens had “always sought to run a serious campaign” in Cunningham and she was “perfectly comfortable” with the party targeting the seat. 

“It doesn’t give me great cause for concern. They have a base which I respect in the electorate, but I’d be surprised if it was any more significant than that,” she said.

The Greens have run a candidate against Ms Bird at every election since 2004.