DEVASTATED by Saturday’s results, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe today (October 20) took full responsibility for the party’s loss.
In a media conference, he said changes will be required so the party can come back stronger than ever.
Back in opposition mode, he’s already flagged that they will be the best opposition they can be, however, he has not confirmed whether he will be leading that opposition over the next four years.
Instead, he thanked the party for giving him the opportunity to lead, saying how grateful he was for the chance.
“I’m very grateful to my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and I know that there will be time to reflect on this period and to make sure that we get the best possible team to take us through to victory in 2024,” he said.
There’s no need to rush into deciding what the Canberra Liberals will look like, Mr Coe said, saying they will make a prudent and measured decision.
“It’s in no one’s best interest to make hasty decisions now,” he said.
“Obviously when you’ve lost an election changes are required. Changes will happen but what we have to make sure is we make the right changes. Obviously there is going to be a need for change with regard to the campaign that we run in the future.
“We’ve now got results and what we need to do is methodologically analyse what’s happened and what we can do better. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that I support the Liberal party to be in the best possible position over the weeks, months and years.
“But, right now, my commitment is to do everything I possibly can to support the members that have been re-elected, or elected, and of course, my heart goes out to the members of the Canberra Liberals that may not be returned.
“I also commiserate with the members of other parties that have lost their seats as well. Politics is tough, it’s tough on the individual concern but also, in some ways, even tougher on the families.
“[But] obviously the electorate has spoken. There is still a lot of water to go under the bridge with regard to the count, and the makeup of the assembly is far from settled.”
And even with questions of what the Canberra Liberals will look like, Mr Coe, still the party’s leader, hasn’t distanced the Liberals from issues such as cost of living, saying the Labor-Greens coalition should be treated as a coalition, and he looks forward to seeing what the Labor-Greens government has in store to resolve this crisis.
“They should be held to account as a coalition. There’s tens of thousands of people in poverty, tens of thousands more struggling with rent and with rates, the cost of living. People are doing it tough in this city,” he said.
But the hard questions for Labor and the Greens stopped there and Mr Coe again took the opportunity to congratulate returned Chief Minister Andrew Barr and returned Greens leader Shane Rattenbury for their success, saying: “They’ve got a tough job ahead and I wish them all the very best.”
And while Mr Coe is disappointed by the Canberra Liberals’ results, he is hopeful that the Liberals will still win another seat or two.