A winter of political discontent?

The ramifications of Friday’s protest will go on for some time yet. We will hear, hopefully, of the police investigation into what happened and why.

I am sure we will hear much more from those who were directly affected by the pepper spray, social media will keep us abreast of all the latest rumours and the politicians of both sides will try to make capital out of what happened.

But what of the future of both parties? What of the future of the Premier?

Sean Crockwell has already quit Government after the debacle of the last time MPs were shut out of their workplace, the protest over immigrations reform.

Mark Pettingill nearly quit after the same sex marriage debate and is again thinking about his position as an OBA MP.

Leah Scott is keeping all her options open – nothing is on or off the table.

A source close to her told me that her interest is in serving the country. The source said “At the end of the day the decision she makes will be the one that she is settled in my her soul about.”

If both quit to stand as independents, that will mean the PLP and OBA both have 16 seats – I think it is safe to assume that the PLP will win in Marc Bean’s old constituency plus the Speaker of the House, Randy Horton, a PLP MP.

Jonathan Starling pointed this out: “Theoretically the Speaker could also resign and rejoin the PLP benches. The Deputy Speaker would then fill in the role, losing the OBA another seat. In that scenario I wouldn’t be sure of a vote of no confidence winning (the independents coming from the OBA side may not be convinced to vote with the PLP on that), but the OBA would definitely have to govern as a minority, try and cut deals with the PLP and independents, but never being able to guarantee a vote. It would be unstable and the OBA would likely go to the polls even without a no confidence vote.”

There are other scenarios but the point Jonathan was making is that there could be some very real political instability.

Another source told me that a decision to stand as an independent MP would, in their opinion, would not be an easy one to take.

The source said: “If they followed their heart they would have long gone Independent.  I do not believe that there are other OBA MPs considering the same but I do know that there are other MPs calling for Dunkley to resign.  The obvious problem is who will replace him?”

If true, that is a bit of a bombshell.

Bbut due to a lack of alternatives he’s likely to stay, so the OBA finds itself between a rock and a hard place with a Premier desperately trying to please potentially three sets of people: his supporters, his detractors and the independents.

That is not a sustainable situation. It is going to be an interesting few weeks.


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