The extent of the Coalition’s loss in the Victorian elections far exceeds predictions in pre-election polling: it looks like a 5% swing against the Coalition which could mean they hold only 25 seats in a Lower House of 88 total seats and could lose 5 of their 16 seats in the Upper House, which has 40 seats. As such their capacity to constitute an effective opposition will be difficult, to say the least. The unanswered question is why such a loss has occurred particularly in the so-called sand-belt area on the east coast of Port Phillip bay which would include middle income groups.
It is now a month since the overthrow of Turnbull as Coalition leader and PM on August 24. Yet the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition now led by Scott Morrison (thanks to the initial challenge by Dutton) has lifted its two party preferred vote by only two percentage points, which still leaves it well behind Labor on 46/54 and behind its rating of 49/51 in mid-August prior to the spill. And less than on its July 2016 election win by one seat.
The combination of today’s Newspoll (another 49/51 TPP result for the Coalition) and the utter failure of the Turnbull government to come forward with a meaningful energy policy demands that tomorrow’s party room meeting vote for a change of leader. Turnbull has had his (second) chance 38 times and must go now even if that forces an election before Christmas.
The Greens leader’s attempt to “explain” his party’s loss of votes in recent elections has led him down a track which could result in his displacement as leader. His response has been to bring back into public debate the extremist view of Greens that climate change causes many of the problems which society faces. On this occasion the problem is bushfires and the alleged failure of the Turnbull government to take sufficient action to reduce CO2 emissions.
Parliament’s first week back after the summer break witnessed quite a bit of excitement, with Deputy PM Joyce leading the way or should I say presenting a new partner and, at the same time, making sure that 7.30 (and those watching) know that it’ a “private matter”. The following extract from today’s Cut and Paste certainly shows Joyce at full throttle
The (normally) two weekly Newspoll on 25 September showed the Coalition’s TPP had fallen by 1 percentage point to 46/54. Today’s Newspoll is a quarterly one that shows the TPP at 47/53 but this is the same as the previous two quarterly ones and, while Turnbull’s performance improved from 33 to 35 “satisfied”, Shorten’s “satisfied” also improved (from 32 to 34). Turnbull’s rating as PM fell fractionally to 43 (from 44) while Shorten’s stayed at 32.
Next week is the last for Parliament before it takes a month’s break. Turnbull will be trying to divert attention away from “difficult” issues, such as the Finkel Blueprint, Turnbull’s attack on Trump during a speech at the Winter ball, and the publication of a book in which the author claims that Turnbull told him he joined the Liberals only because Labor wouldn’t have him(see attached Bolt on Turnbull & Finkel).
Earlier this evening I circulated a Commentary suggesting that unless Turnbull recognises the many deficiencies in the Finkel report there is likely to be a political crisis within the Coalition. The Commentary concluded as follows“Turnbull’s responsibility for having Blueprint produced, and his initial quasi-approval of it, means that he has created a split within the Coalition by effectively imposing a tax on carbon. Although the Blueprint is not exactly the same as what Labor wants, their bipartisan offer to get together confirms that Turnbull is on the right track for them. In his article today Andrew Bolt (see attached) asks why is Turnbull “making the Liberals dance to the warmist tune of Labor and the Greens? Is this why Liberal supporters and donors back the party — to produce not just record debts and spending, but global warming schemes that will just make the poor too scared to turn on the heating this winter? While Turnbull is there, there’s no point to the Liberal Party. The Liberals must get rid of Turnbull or he’ll get rid of them”. For full text see attached.
My last Commentary (on Tuesday 13 June) suggested that unless Turnbull recognises the many deficiencies in the Finkel report there is likely to be a political crisis within the Coalition. This morning I distributed several articles which indicate that this is now well under way. I list briefly below how this may have developed and what is wrong with Blueprint.
There are three things which stand out from today’s polling: Both Newspoll and the Fairfax/Ipso poll show Labor the same distance ahead of the Coalition with Labor holding a lead of 6 percentage points on a TPP basis (53/47) in each poll; Neither leader has a favourable net satisfaction ratio in Newspoll, with Turnbull on 33/53 and Shorten on a 32/54 satisfied to dissatisfied ratios; The total who feel worse off after the budget (45%) is less than after the 2014 budget under Abbott (69%) in Newspoll. But more feel worse off than after each of the last three years of Labor’s budgets. Note that only 19% feel better off and 36% are uncommitted after this year’s budget. The age group which feels worst off after this year’s budget is the 35-49ers, with over 50s feeling least worse off ;