10
Sep
2018

Coalition Goes Backward Under Morrison

Newspoll Confirms Morrison Failure

One might have thought that the second Newspoll after the election  of Scott Morrison as PM would produce something of a lift since the one published a fortnight ago on 27 August.  That showed the Coalition on a TPP of  44/56 (and a primary vote of only 33) after Turnbull was dismissed on 24 August. But now we have on 10 September the same TPP for the Coalition and only a one percentage point lift in its primary vote – but, and for Labor too.

The Australian headlines this as “PM offers hope but rout looms” and editorialises that “provided Liberal MPs are prepared to put the national interest ahead of internal gripes, Scott Morrison has a fighting chance of leading the Coalition out of its electoral malaise. Doing so will require more than a change of style and philosophy, although these factors matter. Bold policy changes that differentiate his government from the opposition are more important, along with the ability to sell them to a weary electorate and highlight the costly pitfalls of the Labor alternative” (see Oz Editorial on Morrison).

This is an improvement on the softly, softly approach adopted hitherto by The Australian. But it fails to identify the urgent need for Morrison to expose the problems he has inherited and to acknowledge that he was wrong to accept Turnbull for so long. If his expositions continue down the same path as recently, that will encourage Turnbull (and sympathetic media) to claim victory – “I succeeded in moving the Liberal Party well to the left”.

And his Deputy Frydenberg must also change his absurd exposition that he regrets having to dispose of the NEG he composed for Turnbull!  This despite the fact it would have hanged a very large stone around the neck of the Liberal party. Amazingly, he told the ABC (why it?) “Well, no one is more disappointed than I am about ” having to dispose of NEG. Even leaving aside the stone, his claim that it passed through the party room thrice suggests it is still OK. Yet the decision to kill it off has not been through that room but was presumably taken by the Morrison/Frydenberg clique!! (see Strewth) And it still leaves an unworkable policy.

Nor has the party room approved the new energy policy announced by Morrison (and presumably approved by Frydenberg). Properly analysed, this policy is worse than the NEG compiled by Frydenberg with Turnbull’s approval. It is not surprising that Labor is saying that it might adopt NEG or a version of it. Morrison also has a Cabinet which John Stone described in last Friday’s Spectator as “little changed in orientation from its predecessor” (text of Stone is attached to my Commentary of 8 September on my web www.ipe.net.au).

In considering voters assessments of the “Most Important Issues”, Newspoll displays the following, viz

Energy prices                                               22

Hospital and aged care                             21

Assistance to farmers                               21

The Budget Deficit                                     16

National Security/Refugees                    11

School Funding                                             5

Uncommitted                                               4

By comparison, in today’s Herald Sun Andrew Bolt presents more immediate priorities to which Morrison should have regard, viz

“MORRISON’S NO-BUT-YES WILL DESTROY THE LIBERALS

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are giving a lot of no-but-yes waffle.

No, they won’t cut emissions rather than cut electricity prices, but, yes, they want emission targets and will stick with the Paris Agreement.

No, the Paris Agreement emissions targets don’t cost us, but, yes, Labor’s targets will.

No, Energy Minister Angus Taylor says he won’t back green schemes that cost plenty but don’t cut the temperature, but, yes, he’ll keep funding lots more renewable energy.

No, the answer to this (unspecified) bullying of Liberal women is not quotas for female MPs, but, yes, the Liberals need more of them.

No, Morrison won’t fight culture wars, but, yes, he thinks we need more religious freedom.

No, Morrison doesn’t think we should cut immigration, but, yes, there is a problem.

No, this new leadership isn’t a change from Turnbull, but, yes, Morrison said will be different “points of emphasis“.

The Liberals desperately need a clear new direction, but their new leaders seem too scared to give one. The Liberal Left would revolt.

Conclusion: unless this changes fast, the Liberals simply cannot fight for what most conservatives want. They are not fit for service.

So now what?”

PS The failure of Liberal Party leadership is not confined to the Federal Party. The dramatic loss of votes in the NSW by-election in Wagga Wagga, and the almost certain loss of the seat, exposes deficiencies in the NSW leadership too (see NSW Loses Wagga). The Liberal Coalition in Victoria will also suffer in the imminent November election.

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