Kristina Keneally of Labor was called "delusional" for saying that lockdowns were to blame for Fowler's loss.
Kristina Keneally lost in an embarrassing way at the polls, but wild claims that lockdowns were to blame have been shot down on the internet.
After Kristina Keneally, from Labor, said that "harsh" lockdowns were to blame for her embarrassing election loss, she got a lot of backlash. Her comments were called "completely delusional."
Before the election, Ms. Keneally was controversially "dropped" into the Sydney seat of Fowler, which had always been held by Labor and was thought to be a safe seat.
People thought Ms. Keneally couldn't lose because she was a "captain's pick." In doing so, Labor pushed aside a local candidate.
But the former Labor senator lost the southwestern Sydney seat of Fowler to the independent Dai Le and, in a controversial move, said that Covid and its effects were the "most important factor" in the crushing loss.
"Fowler had the toughest and longest lockdowns in the state, and both the Liberal and Labor parties backed them," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. "People were angry at both major parties, and some even said, "A plague on both your houses."
She also said that Clive Palmer "funded" the United Australia Party (UAP), which she said hurt the major parties' primary votes and took Senate seats and preferences in lower house seats away from the major parties.
But people on social media have made fun of her reasons for losing.
Mark Latham, who used to be the leader of Labor and is now the leader of NSW One Nation, called Ms. Keneally's claims "narcissistic on steroids."
He wrote on Twitter, "Kristina Keneally is blaming the NSW Liberal Government's lockdowns and the UAP for her loss in Fowler."
"Yet, in McMahon, which is close by and also in Lockdown LGAs, the Labor primary vote went up by 1.5%. Keneally's primary vote dropped by 18.6%. He or she is totally crazy. "Selfish to the extreme."
Someone else on Twitter said that Ms. Keneally's lack of knowledge was "breathtaking."
They said, "She says that losing Labor's safe seat of Fowler had nothing to do with her. Instead, she blames Covid lockdowns."
"If that was true, how come Labor didn't lose all of its seats in western Sydney?"
Others agreed with him, and one person pointed out that lockdowns were tough in most of western Sydney, not just in one electorate.
"She also says that Clive Palmer took preferences away from the major parties, which is a very stupid thing to say since preferences are required," they wrote.
"She also says she chose to move to the lower house. Does she forget that we saw the factions fighting in public and that she was pushed to the third, unwinnable spot on the Labor senate ticket? Does she think we're dumb?"
Shane Bazzi, who works to help refugees, said that Ms. Keneally's controversial explanation for why she lost the election was "shameless."
During the campaign, Ms. Keneally moved from her luxurious home on Scotland Island on the city's northern beaches to Liverpool. She also said she didn't regret taking the "risk" of leaving the Senate and running for the seat of Fowler, even though she lost badly.
She said she wasn't "happy or satisfied" with her three years in the Senate and that she thought she could make her "best contribution" if she moved to the lower house.
Peter FitzSimons, a journalist, asked Ms. Keneally if the real reason she lost was because she was a "wealthy white woman" from "distant pasts" running against De, who was a "real member of the local community." Ms. Keneally said that lockdowns were the main reason she lost.
"These strict lockdowns made people feel like their community had been left behind by both major political parties, which is understandable," she said.
"And I really believe that the Labor Party would have had the same set of problems whether they ran me or someone else in Fowler."
People criticized her on social media, calling her lack of "accountability" and saying that voters want local representation.
One person thought that Ms. Keneally's reasons were "just wrong."
He told her, "You lost because you thought a community you weren't from would vote for you instead of a local candidate who was popular and part of that community."
"The time for politicians to jump into office is over. Voters want real representation from their own area. Tu Le would have been the winner."
"As much as I like KK, she lost because she was dropped into a seat instead of a well-known local candidate. "Nothing else," said someone else.
“Wow! "And there's still no accountability or recognition that a rich white woman standing in a place she knows nothing about was a shameful thing to do, and that the people who live there voted based on that," said another person.
Ms. Le, the local Labor candidate who was pushed aside so that Ms. Keneally could run, said she was "shocked" by the result.
The election for the seat of Fowler was called on Saturday night, but Ms. Keneally didn't give up until Sunday night.
Ms. Keneally said that she had talked to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after she lost the election, but that he had not promised her any new jobs.
On Sunday, Mr. Albanese told Sky News that the Labor Party is looking closely at what went wrong in the seat of Fowler.
"You have to learn from something like that," he said. "I think it's clear that the community sent a message."
"The loss of Kristina Keneally is a big blow to our team. She was a good friend and the deputy senate leader. It's sad, but in a democracy, you have to accept the results."
But you must also learn from them, and we will pay attention to the lessons they teach."