Coalition/Morrison Going Backwards
Today’s Newspoll show that the Coalition and its leader Scott Morrison are going backwards and the strategy of trying to recover through announcements of purported benefits to selected groups is missing the main game. That requires policy statements on climate change, immigration, refugees, budget etc which differ from those under Turnbull and a statement saying that mistakes were made under Turnbull. This would be timely given that Turnbull in Bali is reported as having welcomed (!) this Newspoll (see Turnbull likes Newspoll). Even the highly publicised announcements for drought stricken farmers would not produce funding before the election and the “boosts” for small businesses are still being developed by three (!) ministers.
The main percentages in Newspoll for the Coalition and Labor, which are compared below with those in August 9-12 just before Turnbull went west, show a decrease in the Coalition’s ratings except for the “Satisfied” category which increases markedly for Morrison. But although still behind in “Better PM” and “Satisfied” categories, Labor improves in all four categories over the period from early August (see Newspoll 29/10).
|Primary Votes||Coalition 36/39||cf Labor 37/35|
|TPP||Coalition 46/49||cf Labor 54/51|
|Better PM||Morrison* 43/44||cf Shorten 35/32|
|Satisfied||Morrison* 41/36||cf Shorten 37/32|
* Turnbull for the 43 and 41
The Australian’s National Affairs editor, Simon Benson, also points out that Scott Morrison’s approval ratings “have fallen into negative territory for the first time in the wake of the Wentworth by-election as voters punish the Coalition with a fall in support following its descent into minority government”. This refers to the satisfaction rating, which shows that, while Morrison has a 41 percent “Satisfied” rating, he also has a 44 per cent “Dissatisfied” rating. Similarly negative for the Coalition is (as shown above) that its Primary votes are on 36 percent while Labor’s are on 37 percent (see Benson on Newspoll 29/10).
This suggests the need for urgent action by Coalition/Morrison. Unless Morrison changes his current strategy the question will quickly be posed as to whether he should continue to be leader.
In that regard Tony Abbott has signalled that he is “around”, as of course is Dutton. In his article in today’s Australian (see Abbot on Morrison’s Leadership Position) Abbott backs Morrison but is also saying in effect that he (Abbott) is available viz, “In my judgment, it’s much less a philosophical divide that’s hurt the party over the past five years than a clash of personalities. I’m confident that the internals will be better handled now that some leading players have changed”. That could be interpreted as “well now that Turnbull has gone the rest of us should be able to sort it out”.