ADELE CARLES is the first person to confirm her attendance at a Fremantle state election candidates’ forum to be held at Notre Dame university on February 26.
But the independent MP isn’t saying it signals an intention to recontest the seat she’d wrested from Labor for the Greens in 2009.
“Our position hasn’t changed and we will make an announcement [about whether Ms Carles is running again] when we are ready,” spokesperson Natacha Hammond told the Herald.
Forum co-organiser Martin Drum reckons the beleaguered MP is merely keeping her powder dry, as a public refusal to attend at this stage would clearly signal she’s out of the race.
“She’s keeping her options open,” the Notre Dame political analyst says. “She could always inform the organisers she’s not running and pull out but it’s difficult to do it the other way around.”
Dr Drum says the Greens’ Andrew Sullivan, Labor’s Simone McGurk and the Liberals’ Matthew Hanssen have each pledged not to raise the messy Carles-Troy Buswell post-affair dispute during the forum.
“[They] say they have no intention of bringing it up,” he says.
However, he’s not so sure the audience will be as shy, with many who’d voted for Ms Carles still angry with her for spectacularly quitting the party after her affair with Mr Buswell went public.
“There could be a lot of awkward questions from people saying ‘how can we trust you’?” Dr Drum says.
He’s predicting Fremantle will return to Labor “this time around” and doubts Ms Carles will get more than a handful of votes.
“I don’t think she will poll highly if she runs.”