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Liberals to launch review into poll defeat

Peter Dutton
he Liberal Party has to return to its roots, leadership favourite Peter Dutton says Photo: AAP
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The Liberal Party will examine where its campaign went wrong following the election loss on Saturday.

The review, announced on Thursday, will be overseen by Senator Jane Hume and the party’s former federal director Brian Loughnane.

The start of the review comes with Liberal MPs meeting on Monday to elect a leader, with Peter Dutton most likely to get the top job.

While candidates for a deputy are being canvassed, it’s expected former environment minister Sussan Ley will be elected to the role.

The campaign review will focus on the “long-term challenge” for the party presented by independents, after many seats were lost to so-called “teal” candidates.

The coalition lost six seats across the country to independents, many of them considered to be areas of Liberal heartland.

The party’s performance among different voting groups as well as the candidate selection process will also be put under the spotlight.

In a statement, both Mr Loughnane and Senator Hume said the review would be broad.

“In undertaking this important review, we will consult widely across all parts of the party,” the statement said.

“We welcome input from all party members and encourage submissions from all involved in the campaign.”

While there have been suggestions the coalition would need to become more moderate, Mr Dutton said the Liberals had to return to its roots.

“We can’t be Labor light, and we won’t be if I’m elected leader of the Liberal Party,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB on Thursday.

“We need to make sure that we have points of difference, that we stand true to our values, that we understand our heritage and those that support us.”

Mr Dutton made no apologies for his previous comments and rhetoric but said public perceptions of him being tough were because the portfolios he was in were difficult.

“You get characterised by your enemies and those that don’t like you and on Twitter … they’ll continue to characterise me in a way that they think will harm me,” he said.

“Look at who I am, I’m not going to change, I’ve got values that I believe very strongly.

“You’ve got to be a tough person to be the defence minister of this country.”

The Queensland MP said while he had a good relationship with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, he promised he would hold the government to account.

“Ultimately, we need to have his first principle to do the right thing by our country,” he said.

“I’ll work with him, I’ll call him out where I think he’s wrong … I don’t think he’s got the team around him to deliver what’s needed in the tough times we’re facing.”

– AAP