Telling $929 detail in Scott Morrison's concession speech

·News Editor
·4-min read

On what was a night of humiliation for his party, an ironic $929 detail during Scott Morrison's concession speech was not lost on viewers.

The night was characterised by a rejection of the two major parties as the Liberal Party vote collapsed under the weight of Mr Morrison's unpopularity and inaction on key issues such as climate and integrity.

In its place was a 'teal' tidal wave of independent, female candidates that have gutted the Liberal heartland.

As the outgoing PM admitted defeat and addressed supporters late on Saturday night, many noticed what his wife Jenny was wearing – a $929 almost teal-coloured dress by Carla Zampatti called 'Celebration'.

While it was far from a celebration, that's not the irony.

The daughter of the iconic fashion designer Carla Zampatti is Allegra Spender, one of the teal independents who snatched the Liberal seat of Wentworth in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abbey during the outgoing PM's concession speech. Source: AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abbey during the outgoing PM's concession speech. Source: AAP

In one of the stories of the night, Mr Morrison's much talked about woman problem, came back to bite him. In a big way.

As one political commentator put it: "The moderate wing has been decimated. Jewels in the Liberal crown – Kooyong, North Sydney, Goldstein, Higgins, Curtin, Mackellar – have fallen."

All taken by women. And all but one were independent, including the toppling of the sitting treasurer and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

Liberal Senator Jane Hume on an election broadcast admitted she had "boycotted [wearing] Carla Zampatti the entire campaign."

Jenny Morrison's choice of dress would not have been an accident. Whatever it was meant to signal, it was certainly a fitting choice on a night that saw one of the most substantial realignments in Australian politics in a generation.

Scott Morrison's 'real low in Australian politics' failed

One of the most high-profile women of the Liberal Party this decade and former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, did not mince her words on Saturday night about what led to Mr Morrison's demise.

"So many Liberal women told me they did not see their concerns, their interests reflected in the party that was led by Scott Morrison and in Coalition with Barnaby Joyce. They just didn't see them as having any empathy for the concerns of women," she said.

But it was a controversial election campaign tactic deployed by Mr Morrison that also drew heat in the wash-up on Saturday night.

Mr Morrison's "captain's pick" of Katherine Deves who espoused anti-trans views was considered by many as a ploy to start a culture war in an attempt to dogwhistle to religious and more conservative voters in the outer suburbs that Mr Morrison was targeting.

ABC commentator Annabel Crabb said the "real low" had failed.

The repudiation of Mr Morrison's government has left the Liberal party in tatters. Source: AAP
The repudiation of Mr Morrison's government has left the Liberal party in tatters. Source: AAP

"One thing I think history will record about this campaign and I hope there are lessons learned from it, is the invocation of a divisive issue like trans women in sport, specifically as a means to try and harvest support in various areas around Australia, not only is just a real low point in our politics, but seems to have failed absolutely," she said.

Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham who was also on the panel was grilled on whether it was a tactic by Mr Morrison.

"I think there was a fair bit of incompetence and I'm tempted to use other words," he said.

The anti-trans issue she pushed "may have been part of the view of some in selecting her," he said.

"The way she had framed those issues I suspect was not fully appreciated when she was selected."

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