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David O’Byrne ‘devastated’ as Labor Party rejects his bid for Franklin seat

Pulse Tasmania
David O'Byrne in Tasmanian Parliament. Image / Pulse

Former Labor Party leader David O’Byrne has been rejected in his bid for preselection for the seat of Franklin.

In a statement to Pulse on Friday afternoon, O’Byrne said the announcement was “devastating news” for him.

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“I have been a loyal Labor supporter for my entire life and member for close to 30 years,” he said.

“I was brought up in a family who knew the Labor movement fought for better services, in health, education and housing and that every worker deserves a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

“The Labor tradition of delivering quality services and building a strong economy and a party that stood for and believed in the principles of solidarity.”

David O’Byrne in Tasmanian Parliament. Image / Pulse

“While I acknowledge that my candidature does not come with a clean slate I had hoped that my years of commitment to the party and hard work in the community would balance the scales.”

“This combined with the electoral success over a number of elections would give me a chance to again be part of the parliamentary Labor team and contribute to the campaign to return Labor to Government.”

“I have never presented myself as the perfect person. I have made mistakes and I have owned them, but I have never given up and walked away from the work to which I am deeply committed.”

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“I have never voted against the Labor party position in the parliament and have strongly advocated on the issues that the people Franklin care deeply about, applying those Labor values.”

“I believe I have the trust of the people of Franklin and believe I can assist Labor in Tasmania as not only a good local member but also an experienced parliamentarian and former Minister.”

Tasmanian Parliament earlier this year. Image / Pulse

“I will now take some time to consider my future.”

The decision was made by the Labor Party’s national executive, which includes O’Byrne’s sister Michelle.

The rejection follows an opinion poll released on Thursday that shows a drop in support for Labor in favour of independent candidates.

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