Sunday 29 May 2022 03:34 AM Kristina Keneally blames everything but herself for Fowler election loss trends now
Failed Labor candidate Kristina Keneally still refuses to take any blame for her humiliating loss, despite Anthony Albanese admitting 'the community sent a message'.
Ms Keneally was the NSW premier who in 2011 led Labor into one of its biggest ever losses at a state election.
A decade later she turned the south-western Sydney seat of Fowler from a 28 per cent Labor majority in the 2019 election into a five per cent loss to independent Dai Le last Saturday.
But she said her being parachuted in from 70km away on the posh Scotland Island had nothing to do with losing the seat that could cost Labor majority government.
Instead, the woman Mr Albanese calls his Sam Burgess (after the former South Sydney rugby league player), for her toughness, blamed Covid lockdowns and anything but herself.
Ms Keneally also explained her resilience came from losing a child to stillbirth more than two decades ago.
A sombre looking Kristina Keneally has been spotted collecting groceries from a boat on the island she calls home after her failed bid to win a seat at the election last weekend
Kristina Keneally (left) the former NSW premier, who was beaten by independent Vietnamese-Australian Dai Le in the western Sydney seat of Fowler, was one of the most high-profile failures among those seeking a lower house seat at the election
Despite claiming she would always live in the battler seat she was parachuted into, Ms Keneally days later left apartment she rented in Liverpool in southwest Sydney during the campaign and moved back to her lush mansion on the northern beaches.
Ms Keneally blamed her loss on lockdowns and vaccine mandates, despite Labor having nothing to do with them, not being in state or federal government at the time.
'There was an understandable sense of anger at both major parties, with people reacting with "a pox on both your houses",' she said in a Q&A with the Sydney Morning Herald after calling the newspaper to explain her loss.
However, Labor or the Liberals won every other western Sydney seat with no others falling to independents - unlike the inner-city where 'teal' independents triumphed.
The former senator also tried to blame billionaire businessman Clive Palmer's United Australia Party and the $100 million he spent on advertising.
Dressed in a dark jacket and trousers with a red t-shirt, Kristina Keneally is pictured carrying groceries to her island home on Sydney's northern beaches
After collecting her groceries Ms Keneally was seen chatting to an unidentified man
'When pre-polling started, the number of people who only took the UAP how-to-vote cards seemed unnaturally high to me,' she said.
UAP got only 1,193 more first preference votes in Fowler in 2022 than it did in 2019 - nowhere near enough to overturn Labor's previous 23,416 vote majority.
The American born, raised, and educated Ms Keneally also blamed being up against 'a strong independent candidate', Ms Le.
She was selected to run by Labor's top brass, including Mr Albanese, over another local Vietnamese-Australian, lawyer Tu Le, who was the the choice of local ALP members.
More than 15 per cent of the population of Fowler was born in Vietnam, and another 45 per cent were also born overseas, including Iraq, Cambodia, China and India.
Ms Keneally also blamed an 'understandable sense of parochialism that the community had', for her loss.
Ms Keneally's groceries were brought to Scotland Island by boat and unloaded onto a jetty
Kristina Keneally (centre) is pictured campaigning in the seat of Fowler, which opponent Dai Le won with a huge swing against Labor
Fowler is one of Australia's most multicultural communities, with 81.8 per cent of the population having one or both parents born overseas.
But Labor's candidate was a wealthy, American-born white woman who lived an hour away before being parachuted in to run for the seat.
'A lot of Labor voters were so angry with the fact that the Labor Party was arrogant enough to think that they can parachute somebody from the northern beaches … to represent us,' Fowler's new MP Dai Le, who is not related to Tu Le, said.
Former Labor senator Graham Richardson said on election night that Ms Keneally was 'like an alien walking around the Fairfield shops in a $2,000 dress'.
Mr Albanese on Sunday admitted Labor had to accept the outcome in Fowler, but also 'have to learn from' it.
'Of course, you have to learn lessons from an outcome like that. And I think the lessons are very clear that the community sent a message,' he told Sky News.
'Kristina Keneally is a big loss to our team. She was a valued friend. She was the deputy Senate leader and it is a loss, but you have to accept outcomes in democratic processes, but you also have to learn from them.'
Vietnamese-born lawyer Tu Le (right) was originally set to win pre-selection for Fowler. Ms