I’ve been too preoccupied to offer commentary on Saturday’s Mayo by-election, but maybe interested readers can do the job for me in comments. Liberal candidate Jamie Briggs is a short-priced favourite to succeed Alexander Downer in the traditionally safe seat, but two other candidates in the field are of at least theoretical interest. One is Bob Day, the cashed-up Liberal candidate for Makin at the November 2007 election who is running with Family First after being knocked back for preselection. The other is independent Di Bell, described on her website as writer and editor in residence at our very own Flinders University and Professor Emerita of Anthropology at The George Washington University in Washington DC. Bell has the backing of Senator Nick Xenophon, which was seen as a decisive factor in independent Kris Hanna’s surprise re-election in Mitchell at the 2006 state election after parting company first with Labor and then the Greens.