Fisher and Fairfax election cartoon.
Fisher and Fairfax election cartoon. Peter Broelman

COAST DECIDES: Battle of the bridesmaids

THE fields for Fisher and Fairfax are packed with bridesmaids who share the experience of missed bouquets.

All are seeking to represent electorates who know how they feel, having themselves been repeatedly overlooked for areas more attractive to the political masters of those they elect.

With growth pressures now impossible to ignore tonight’s brides can expect no honeymoon.

Getting elected to parliament may fulfil personal ambitions but that satisfaction needs to deliver tangible results quickly for those marriages to last.

The question that won’t be answered by tonight’s result is whether the in-laws (political parties) or the groom (the electorate) will hold sway.

In Fairfax Ted O’Brien (LNP) returns to altar hoping long-held ambitions won’t be again thwarted by a wandering eye.

There’s no rich Lothario this time round, just a kid with a big grin in Labor’s Scott Anderson, a Green in Sue Etheridge who returns for another crack at love shortly after missing out in the local government election, three independents, a Family First and a the political version of an online dating service.

Such is confidence born of a long courtship now into its fifth year, despite the infidelity with Clive, that Ted has allowed Scott a foot in the door placing him two up from the bottom on his dance (how to vote) card.

In Fisher Andrew Wallace, unlucky in love when he sought his party’s bridal suite ahead of the 2013 election, gets an unexpected crack at romance after Mal Brough’s sudden divorce.

But like any budding romance there are hurdles to overcome.

The future of Medicare, the state of the economy, changes to superannuation, immigration and humanitarian intakes and same-sex marriage all loom as challenges – like too-friendly ex-girlfriends – that will need to be dealt with to ensure a lasting marriage.

The LNP duo of Wallace and O’Brien remains loyal to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage while both acknowledge the need for economic stability in uncertain times, especially abroad of late.

Labor candidates Bill Gissane and Scott Anderson both identify the renewable/sustainable energy sector as a potential economic safeguard the Coast can tap into, while education investment and same-sex marriage are also supported.

Whether the party faithful will be lucky in love third time round after giving Peter the slipper for Brough’s gruff embrace remains to be seen and may come with a price.

His limousine ride to happiness is expected to come from the preference flows of three-time Family First and now Australian Liberty Alliance candidate John Spellman and Rise Up Australia’s Tracey Bell-Henselin.

That’s a love which at some point is going to hurt.

Labor’s Bill Gissane has stuck around despite a sobering rebuff in 2013 then a thwarted romance in 2015 with the Maroochydore state electorate.

He’s felt love on the hustings this week but the Greens’ Tony Gibson, a failed mayoral candidate just three months ago, not only already damns him by association in the eyes of some but will not bring enough champagne to fill the glass.