The latest Newspoll showing a negative TTP of 49/51 for the Coalition (see below) has sent the Turnbull government, and the Liberal Party itself, a clear message to fix the role being played by the current leadership. The poll includes a section indicating only 19% favoured allowing the States to impose an income tax. This does not necessarily rule out such a development in the future. But it confirms that the handling of the issue by Turnbull has been so bad that, as suggested in yesterday’s Commentary, it requires a major change in the role being played by him as PM.
This is reinforced by the article by one of Australia’s best judges of the political situation, Terry McCrann, who not only describes Turnbull as a political “dud” but adds that “I’ll state my assessment now: Turnbull is heading for defeat, whether in July or September”.
(see McCrann Predicts Turnbull Loss). Note that McCrann’s article was apparently written before he was aware of the Newspoll.
My letter in today’s Australian points out that, inter alia, Turnbull has wrongly claimed that “the States’ refusal to consider a sharing of income tax means they cannot ask the Commonwealth to increase taxes. But this is allowed for in the case of the GST, which is a Commonwealth tax”. This letter was sent to The Australian two days ago.
Interestingly, in one of today’s interview with press Turnbull refused to answer questions about the poll. While it is not unusual for politicians to refuse to comment on polls, Turnbull’s refusal was couched in terms of him not being a commentator. That sits rather oddly given his many comments about the State income tax and related matters