COVID-19

Voters set to ‘stick it to Dan’ at crucial by-election

The Herald Sun can reveal the former gaming minister, who has held the seat of Kororoit since 2008, has packed up her electorate office.Ms Kairouz has also recently sold her home prompting widespread speculation inside Victorian Labor that she will bring on a by-election.Sources say the move would be a “political nightmare” for the ALP and risked destabilising the Andrews Government ahead of November’s general election.“Our policies around lockdown hit really hard in Melbourne’s west especially in areas where there’s not a lot of amenities within a 5km radius,” one ALP insider said.“You could argue Kororoit is the epicentre of lockdown backlash.”Labor sources expect a fierce backlash to translate to electoral carnage in some western seats, with polling showing a huge anti-government sentiment.“If the people of outer suburbia have the opportunity to have an opportunity to have a referendum on Daniel Andrews, I think they’re going to take the chance to stick it to him,” one said.It is widely expected voters would take the chance to send the government a strong message at a by-election, but Labor is confident it could win the seat back at a general election.Former Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Luba Grigorovitch will contest the seat of Kororoit.But concerns have been raised inside the party about her living arrangements, with sources confirming she continued to live in South Yarra with her private equity baron partner Ben Gray.“Our candidate is all but married to a billionaire and lives in his mansion in South Yarra,” a source said.“It’s not a good look for the people of the west.”Ms Grigorovitch served as a City of Hobsons Bay councillor from 2008-13, and joined the RTBU in 2008.Ms Kairouz was dumped from Cabinet after being linked to branch stacking allegations levelled at factional ally Adem Somyurek.She was dropped as a Labor candidate in December as part of a factional carve up of seats across the state.Other MPs to be ousted included Frank McGuire, Luke Donnellan and Robin Scott.The Herald Sun understands Mr Donnellan could also trigger a by-election.

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