Polling suggests Labor’s Kristina Keneally holds a negative favorability rating among voters, compared to a positive grading for Independent’s Dai Le, after the American-born politician was parachuted into the Western Sydney electorate late last year.
Kristina Keneally’s primary vote is collapsing in the Western Sydney seat of Fowler as locals preference for her independent opponent Dai Le, polls revealed.
Polling research conducted by Laidlaw Campaigns and counsel found the primary vote for Labor’s parachute pick has fallen by 13 points to 42 per cent, reported The Daily Telegraph.
The poll of 618 voters, suggests on a two-party preferred basis Senator Keneally has 45 per cent of the vote and Ms Le 38 per cent, making the seat too close to call.
Among voters who were familiar with both candidates, Ms Le had a net favorable rating of +18 per cent, with 28 per cent feeling positive towards her compared to 10 per cent with a negative view.
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Ms Kene, however, had a negative favourability rating of -6 per cent, with -30 per centably of feeling unfavourable towards her.
The seat of Fowler is a Labor stronghold, with a margin of 14 per cent and is one of Sydney’s most ethnically diverse electorates.
It’s home to Cabramatta, the heart of the Vietnamese community and takes in other ethnically diverse areas including Liverpool, Warwick Farm and Fairfield East.
American-born Senator Ms Keneally was handpicked to represent the party in the south-west Sydney seat at the election after the current Labor MP for Fowler Chris Hayes announced his retirement.
Local lawyer Tu Le was reportedly backed by Mr Hayes as his replacement, however she was sidelined by the party’s decision to parachute Ms Keneally into the seat.
At the time Ms Keneally was living 44km away on the exclusive Scotland Island in the Northern Beaches before renting a property in Liverpool in November.
In April, Ms Le, who is the deputy mayor of Fairfield and a former refugee, said Labor made the wrong decision to impose the “affluent” Kristina Keneally onto her “conservative” electorate.
Ms Le said she has discovered Fowler is more conservative leaning while arguing the major parties’ failure to “understand and connect” with the community has made them blind to changes in voting trends.
“There are a lot of aspirational voters – and I think that’s where the Labor Party has actually made the wrong decision to impose somebody who’s affluent from the Northern Beaches into our aspirational and conservative community,” she told Sky News Australia’s Chris Kenny.
“Somebody who has not been here or worked in our community who actually have not lived through some of the challenges we have lived through in the last couple of years.
“Our community, years and decades ago it was definitely Labor – but if you actually look at the council election results it delivered 10 independent councillors and an independent mayor.”