Polls, Lindzen & Abbott

Morrison Needs to Take Risks – Polls

Yesterday’s Commentary focussed on the lecture given in London by Professor Richard Lindzen and his ridiculing of Australian (read Morrison government) comments about the IPCC report and his denunciation of the report itself (see Lindzen Slams IPCC Report). Lindzen is not any old professor: he has written over 200 articles on climate change an meteorology and would provide enlightenment if brought to Australia, more so than Monckton because of his background. That Commentary suggested that the government should invite Lindzen.

The latest polls show that improved policy statements are badly needed and the sponsoring of Lindzen to address audiences here could provide a starting point for adjusting environment policy.  Newspoll does show a Coalition increase of one percentage point but this still leaves it at 47/53 on a TPP basis. And, while this is three percentage points above the result when Turnbull was in trouble, it is still two percentage points behind what Turnbull was prior to the period when he was threatened/challenged. Morrison’s personal satisfaction rating is  higher than Turnbull’s was in that period but so is Shorten’s (see Newspoll One Point Up But Only 47/53).

The Ipso-Fairfax poll shows a worse outcome for the Coalition, with it on only 45/55 TPP compared with 47/53 at the last poll. The existing TPP is about the same as it was when Turnbull was in trouble but worse than in the period before then (49/51). Morrison’s performance polls better than Shorten’s but lower than Turnbull was in the period before he (Turnbull) got into trouble and the “uncommitted” poll for Morrison is considerably higher than then (16% cf 7%). Also while lower than Morrison’s performance poll, Shorten’s has improved compared with the period before Turnbull got into trouble (see Labor Leads 55/45 in Fairfax Poll).

The need for improved policy statements is reflected in today’s piece by Andrew Bolt, who rightly argues that Morrison has been “trying to have it both ways, and can’t get cut-through on either”. Of course, he cannot make substantive policy changes before next Saturday’s Wentworth by-election and the reports that this may be very close outcome. Bolt claims that Morrison is “working hard on policies he’ll roll out closer to the election”, but rightly adds that “he’ll need to reveal them much sooner before voters conclude he’s all smiles and no substance” (see Bolt on Morrison). During the current week Morrison also needs to stop making statements which contradict other earlier statements or leave voters wondering which way the government is going.

Meantime, Tony Abbott is reported as participating today in the by-election and making some comments which are pertinent and which Morrison should note:

Tony Abbott has urged Malcolm Turnbull to give a personal endorsement for the Liberal Party’s candidate in the Wentworth by-election. Mr Abbott declined to respond to Mr Turnbull calling him a “miserable ghost” but urged the former prime minister to send a “solid, clear, personal endorsement” of the Liberal Party’s candidate Dave Sharma. “The one thing that I would love to see from Malcolm this week is a tweet from New York endorsing Dave Sharma,” Mr Abbott told 2GB radio.

“I know he doesn’t want to get too involved with Australian politics, I understand that, I know he is probably enjoying a bit of R & R with Lucy in New York, but I reckon he owes it to the party and the people of Wentworth to give Dave Sharma a solid, clear personal endorsement this week in particular.”

He said this Saturday’s by-election would be a “tough” one to win for the Liberal Party and labelled independent candidate Kerryn Phelps as “effectively the Labor candidate”. “The official Labor candidate is some bloke but the real Labor candidate is Kerryn Phelps and that’s why if you vote for Kerryn Phelps you are really voting for Bill Shorten and it is important that people understand that,” he said.

Mr Abbott said the government was in better shape with Scott Morrison as leader than under Mr Turnbull”.

The emergence of Abbott is of some significance following his excellent address a week or so ago to the Oxford Union. I have made available here a copy as I judge it to be worth reading by those sympathetic to the genuine liberal cause. Coalition MPs should read it.

The great thing about Prime Minister Scott Morrison is when he addresses a subject you understand exactly what he means, he speaks in short clear sentences, and he is a tribal Liberal. And that is what we want, we want someone who believes in our cause and regards themselves as a creature of our party,” he said.

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