Kavel election

Liberal candidate for Kavel Rowan Mumford in Mt Barker’s main street.

The stage is now set for an intriguing election campaign in Kavel.
With the pre-selection of their candidate Rowan Mumford at the weekend, the Liberal Party can be expected to pull out all stops in an attempt to regain the seat in the wake of the shock defection of former Liberal turned independent Dan Cregan.
Kavel has always been a safe Liberal seat and, as a consequence, has been largely ignored by governments from both sides of politics in previous years.
The Labor Party was never going to win, meaning it ignored the seat while, from the Liberal perspective, Kavel was safely in the bag at every election meaning resources were directed to battleground seats it either was fighting to retain or wanted to win.
But the decision by Mr Cregan to abandon his Party, in frustration over what he says is inaction in addressing the significant growth pressures being experienced by residents, has the potential to change everything. Kavel can no longer be chalked up by the Liberal Party as an easy win.
It seems almost inconceivable it will have to fight to regain what was once one of the safest seats in SA.
The same thing happened in the local Federal seat of Mayo.
Liberal voters abandoned the Party in favor of an ‘independent’ candidate and two things happened.
Mayo suddenly became important to both sides of politics as Labor wanted to keep Rebekha Sharkie ensconced and the Liberals wanted her out – and, the sky didn’t fall in.
Traditional conservative supporters discovered that a vote for an ‘independent’ candidate was not a step too far – a realisation which may work in Mr Cregan’s favor at the upcoming State election.
But the predicted positive Liberal response to his defection in order to quell any further loss of votes in Kavel can only be good for residents of the entire region.
Whether Mr Cregan’s move returns him electoral success is largely immaterial.
He may have already played his trump card and have little else to offer, but if the focus of the Liberal Party is restored, then his defection has been worthwhile.