This is the letter sent to all members of the Liberal Party in Wentworth immediately after the election was called. The bold is Howard’s. For the state of play in this blue-ribbon seat – and the real reason Howard is worried – see Labor’s Costello wedge keeps Wentworth on the move. The current Liberal MP for Wentworth, Peter King, is expected to announce that he will stand as an independent within a week.
Dear Mr and Mrs …
I am writing to you because I have a very real concern that the seat of Wentworth could be won by the Labor Party at the next election.
Wentworth is NOT the safe Liberal seat that many people imagine. There is the added complication that Peter King could also run as an independent, which would split the Liberal vote and further help the Labor Party.
This next election will be very close. We can never take anything for granted.
The strength of our economy determines the performance of superannuation investments that drive retirement incomes, the payment of pensions and other allowances that many Australians rely on, the quality of health, education and aged care services our family can access and how we address issues like water, to make our continent more sustainable.
The Coalition Government I lead has established a strong track record of responsible economic management that has delivered very real economic benefits for Australia.
The inexperience and unproven nature of our Labor opponents presents a very real risk to our nation’s economic future.
Only by supporting the Liberal’s endorsed candidate, Malcolm Turnbull, can you be sure of acting to re-elect a Coalition Government that will keep our economy strong.
Malcolm Turnbull is an experienced, influential and passionate advocate on many public issues. He will make a strong contribution to my team, the Parliament and as your local Wentworth MP.
I appreciate there will be some who will have strong opinions about the Liberal pre-selection in Wentworth. However, as a long term member of the Liberal Party, I believe we must always move on and support our democratically selected candidate, it is the only way we can re-elect a Coalition Government.
So I encourage us all to focus our attention on the issues that will determine our economic future at this election. Only this way can we ensure that we do what we can to continue to enjoy the quality of life that our strong economy has made possible.
Hon. John Howard MP
PS. Please find attached Malcolm Turnbull’s most recent newsletter for your information, outlining his work on local issues in Wentworth.
Thank you to SMH researcher LiZ Bowron for transcribing this letter.