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UPDATED: Elizabeth Lee elected new Canberra Liberals leader

Dominic Giannini27 October 2020
Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth Lee has been elected as the Canberra Liberals’ new leader. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

UPDATED 11:35 am Elizabeth Lee has been elected leader of the Canberra Liberals, taking over from Alistair Coe who did not re-contest the ballot after the party’s defeat at the election 10 days ago.

Giulia Jones has been elected deputy leader, replacing Nicole Lawder.

Former opposition leader and shadow Attorney-General Jeremy Hanson, who led the party at the 2016 election, also took a tilt at the top job, confirming on social media today that he would contest the ballot at today’s party room meeting.

Deputy Leader Nicole Lawder told ABC Radio this morning: “Alistair has said all along that he wouldn’t recontest and that’s my understanding from discussions with him in the past week that he will not recontest the leadership.

“It’s quite possible that for one of the positions, leader or deputy, I may put my hat in the ring.”

Mr Hanson lost the leadership to Mr Coe in 2016 and has widely acknowledged that he would be interested in leading the party again.

“The recent election win by the Labor and Green coalition does not mean they have been a good government. Quite the opposite is the case and after 19 years of ‘one party rule’ an effective opposition is more important than ever,” Mr Hanson wrote on Facebook.

“We need to relentlessly take the fight up to the government while doing the work necessary to provide a credible alternative in 2024. The Canberra Liberals are a diverse and talented team and with the right leadership we will be very effective.”

The Liberals have been criticised – including by former party leaders – for being too conservative for the Canberra electorate.


READ MORE: Coe accepts responsibility but another election loss exposes deep party divisions


Mr Coe fronted the Canberra media last Tuesday (20 October), three days after the election to defend the party’s performance.

“As leader of the Liberals I take full responsibility for the result on Saturday night,” Mr Coe said at the time.

“It is tough. It is very tough. I and many other people in Canberra were devastated by the results. It is clear that with one or two minor parties, we have been disproportionately hit hard.

“Let’s put this into perspective: it is a 3 per cent swing at this stage and I have no doubt that this will narrow considerably in the coming days.”


READ ALSO: How the party room battle defeated Liberals’ chances of winning an “it’s time” election


The Liberals ended up with a swing against them of 2.9 per cent across the board, with the swing against them widening to 7.2 per cent in Murrumbidgee. The party lost ground across every electorate except for Yerrabi – Mr Coe’s electorate – where there was a 4.8 per cent swing to the party.

The Liberals lost two seats at the election – Candice Burch in Kurrajong and Andrew Wall in Brindabella.

More to come.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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