Notre Dame University’s Martin Drum says Premier’s sex symbol status ‘very strange’

Right Said Fred might have been too sexy for their shirts, so sexy it hurts, but Premier Mark McGowan is proving far from too sexy for West Aussie voters, and one political expert thinks it’s all “very strange”.

Notre Dame associate professor of politics and international relations Martin Drum said the Premier’s newfound sex symbol status was in stark contrast to the public’s usual perception of politicians.

Camera IconMark McGowan mug #statedaddy. Minister Credit: Mark McGowan for Prime Minister/Facebook

“It’s a very strange thing because politicians are not normally sex symbols, in fact, they probably seem rather dry, a bit robotic sometimes, they stick to a script, all of those sorts of criticisms,” Dr Drum told The West live today.

“So, this has come out of the blue in some respects.”


Not since Justin Timberlake has someone brought sexy back so effectively, and Dr Drum said the Premier’s appeal was a product of being “seen to act quickly and decisively” during the pandemic and his “extraordinary” approval rating.

An opinion poll commissioned by The West Australian revealed the Premier enjoyed an 88 per cent approval rating, despite last week’s quarantine hotel breach and associated lockdown.

Mark McGowan fans post a collection of pics under the heading This man needs to stop looking this fine.
Camera IconMark McGowan fans post a collection of pics under the heading This man needs to stop looking this fine. Credit: Egg Mcgowan/Facebook



Incredibly, he was even more popular among people aged 18-39, boasting an approval rating of 91 per cent, which is anecdotally confirmed by the many McGowan tribute videos currently doing the rounds on TikTok.

“There’s a strong social media aspect to this,” Dr Drum agreed.

“(Young people) are very hard to reach normally, but there’s a strong presence and all sorts of memes shared about Mark McGowan, and people profess their admiration et cetera, so there’s another whole political subculture that we don’t normally see with politicians.”

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