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‘Enjoy being the opposition’: Another moderate Liberal blasts shift to right

A moderate former Liberal Party staffer and office-holder has accused Opposition MPs of “appeasing fringe activists in their state and federal party-rooms” – soon after a preselection frontrunner blasted the party for indulging in “niche culture war issues”.

May 26, 2023, updated May 26, 2023
Liberal Party HQ in Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

Liberal Party HQ in Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

Moderate-aligned Hannah March, who previously worked as a staffer for former factional leader and federal minister Christopher Pyne and served as a president of the SA Liberal Women’s Council, spoke out after another Women’s Council member lashed the party earlier this month.

Anna Finizio, considered a frontrunner to contest former Premier Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan if he resigns and sparks a by-election, wrote in an InDaily opinion piece that some policy motions were “economically daft” and that if the Liberal Party focused on “niche culture war issues, it will continue to fail to attract a diverse membership that can help the party win elections”.

March echoed Finizio’s concerns about a conservative push within the party.

“If Liberal parliamentarians think staying quiet about or appeasing fringe activists in their state and federal party-rooms is a way to restore trust with the majority of electors – especially women – that’s a matter for them,” she said.

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“I hope they enjoy being the opposition.”

March put herself up for preselection to fill former Marshall Government Health Minister Steven Wade’s upper house seat, but withdrew and the seat was filled by conservative-aligned Ben Hood.

March has also been an outspoken party critic, tweeting earlier this year that the Liberals had a “toxic men protected by weak men & women problem”.

InDaily contacted state party director Alex May and current conservative-aligned Women’s Council president Leah Blyth but they declined to comment. Conservative-aligned party president Rowan Mumford was also contacted.

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