A new political party backed by small business leaders and a great AFL look that will benefit disaffected Victorians in the upcoming state election.
Opinion polls by Small Business Australia show that thousands of Victorians are dissatisfied with the two major parties, leading to a new force in state politics forming to challenge in the next election.
The Victorians Party was founded on Friday with the support of leading industry group and former AFL great Paul Dimattina, exactly one year after the next state poll.
Poll data obtained exclusively by Sky News Australia shows that 90 percent of business owners and 94 percent of ordinary Victorians were “very dissatisfied” with the way the Andrews government is handling the pandemic.
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The survey of more than 5,400 Victorians also found that about 40 percent would place their trust in “other parties” outside the mainstream Liberal and Labor parties.
The poll also found that 78 percent of business owners believed politicians should have experience in private business before joining public life.
It comes amid growing unrest over the pandemic powers of the Andrews government and plans to introduce further vaccine mandates.
The state has suffered from the longest lockdowns in the world and the most home ordering in the country, drastically impacting Victoria’s budget and employment figures.
According to Treasury data, the Andrews administration spent an additional $2.8 billion in the September quarter to fight the state’s COVID outbreak, which is expected to help blow the budget by nearly $7 billion. .
The state was also hit hardest in October’s job data, which showed unemployment rose 0.9 percent or 29,000 people, while the employment rate also fell 0.4 percent.
The new party will nominate candidates in both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council and will look beyond the political ranks to recruit members.
Bill Lang, director of Small Business Australia, said voters now want a clear choice outside the mainstream political establishment.
“People want a choice, and they want a real choice as opposed to the old traditional system that has been around for nearly 100 years now,” Mr Lang told Sky News Australia’s Julia Bradley.
“And they want real people who listen to their real concerns and represent them in a real way.”
The party’s main pillars include Moreland City Councilor Oscar Yildiz and businesswoman Ingrid Maynard, as well as Mr Lang and Mr Dimattina.
Yildiz said the party’s focus was to distance itself from political apparatus and lead candidates with hands-on experience.
“This is about the best person for the job, no factions, no deals, favoritism, no people skydiving into chairs. We want locals to truly represent their constituents,” he said Friday.
Ms Maynard said she had no previous political experience but was dissatisfied with the current political leaders and fueled the new party’s potential for a grassroots campaign.
“This party will be filled with hard-working, ordinary Victorians who have had life outside politics, who were previously largely apolitical,” he said.
The party leadership expects about 15,000 Victorians to be disenfranchised by the major parties that have expressed an interest in supporting a new political party.