Politics

Jane Caro Seriously Wants To Run Against Tony Abbott In The Next Election

A female media commentator, activist and author with a public profile wants to run against an established political figure in a safe Liberal seat and win. And it's not Kerryn Phelps.

Jane Caro Warringah

A female media commentator, activist and author with a public profile wants to run against an established political figure in a safe Liberal seat and win. And it’s not Kerryn Phelps.

Since Phelps’ historic Wentworth victory last night, The Gruen Transfer’s Jane Caro has very openly wondered whether she should run against former prime minister Tony Abbott in his safe Liberal seat of Warringah, in north Sydney.

Tweets from high-profile figures spawned speculation over Caro’s candidacy in the hours after Wentworth was called for Phelps. It started with The Weekly’s Charlie Pickering tweeting this:

To which Caro’s sister Ann — a Sydney school principal — jokingly replied:

And then…

An extraordinary wave of endorsements followed, including that of the independent Tony Windsor, the former member for New England who unsuccessfully challenged Barnaby Joyce in the 2016 federal election.

In one thread, former Warringah independent candidate James Mathison threw his support behind Caro.

Jane Caro Warringah

Mathison, who hosted Australian Idol once upon a time, nabbed just over 10 percent of the primary vote when he challenged Abbott in Warringah at the 2016 federal election.

Caro says that she will focus on climate change action if she were to run. In her published writing, she has advocated for more public school funding, relaxed euthanasia laws, more women in parliament and a limit on the ability for religious schools to discriminate.

In 2016, Abbott retained Warringah with 62 percent of the vote, despite copping a four point swing against him. Similar to Wentworth, Abbott’s seat has a high number of outvoted progressives: second place in Warringah didn’t go to Labor, but to the Greens. The Sydney north shore seat has been held by Abbott since 1994, and has never been represented by anyone outside the Liberal Party.

On Saturday, Phelps beat out Liberal candidate Dave Sharma after his party suffered a 20 point swing against them. It is the first time ever that the eastern suburbs of Sydney has turned from the Liberal Party, in a result that has worried the government ahead of next year’s federal election, The by-election was triggered after former PM Malcolm Turnbull quit parliament after two leadership challenges in one week.

Caro was born in London, and would need to renounce her British citizenship in order to contest an election.

Junkee has reached out to Caro for comment.