POLITICS

GetUp Says Liberal MPs Are 'Losing Ungracefully' As The Blame Game Begins

There's nothing like a sore loser.

04/07/2016 11:32 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
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One of the Andrew Nikolic protestors during the election.

The blame game has begun as many Liberal MPs face uncertainty while others get used to the reality of being ousted.

And it has well and truly begun in Tasmania where the Coalition has had one of its biggest losses with three Liberal MPs losing their seats.

The former member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, blamed his loss on the progressive campaigning group GetUp. The group is run on donations from the public.

National director of Getup Paul Oosting told The Huffington Post Australia the Coalition are "losing ungracefully".

"But I think there is something about the grassroots style of this campaign. It is new. Andrew Nikolic would be used to just facing off against the local Labor candidate but instead we've seen dozens of people step up and go door knocking or make calls," Oosting said.

"And it's just something I think he doesn't understand or comprehends."

In a Facebook post on Monday morning Nikolic said GetUp ran a "dishonest, nasty, personal campaign in Bass built around the core lie of Medicare privatisation".

Here is the post in its entirety.

Oosting said the GetUp campaign was run on fact, and Liberal MPs complaining about it have not lodged any complaints with the AEC or directly to GetUp. An AEC spokesperson told HuffPost Australia they are not aware of any formal complaints being lodged against GetUp.

"We're glad that Andrew Nikolic has acknowledged the impact [our campaign] has had," Oosting said.

"We know that from the numbers that there's been a 10 percent swing against Nikolic in Bass because people stood up and said enough is enough."

Oosting said the claims GetUp imported 90 activists into Bass was untrue, with more than 80 being local volunteers. The estimated funds running the campaign in Bass were around $200,000 which Oosting said came from an average $18 donation from Australians.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who is expected to hold his Queensland seat of Dickson despite a close count, said GetUp and the CFMEU have created a "tough" campaign in his electorate.

"We've had a very tough campaign here. We've had bikies and CFMEU members and GetUp campaigning on behalf of the Greens and they've thrown a lot at our campaign but I think we've been successful in the end but every vote counts between now and six o'clock," Dutton said on Saturday.

Malcolm Turnbull declared during his address to Liberal Party faithful in the early hours of Sunday morning that the 'mediscare' texts which were sent before voters hit the polling booths had been referred to the AFP.

Queensland's ALP branch has owned up to sending the texts, which appeared as a message sent by Medicare, and the AFP has confirmed they are looking into a request about the texts. An investigation has not been launched yet.

And we still don't have a Prime Minister.

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