Monday, 5 January 2015

Abbott Government now considering telling different sets of political lies to Australian electorates based on the states in which they are located?

Simon Letch 28 November 2014

The voice of political desperation can be heard in this article in The Australian on 30 December 2014, as the Abbott Government begins to reap what it so assiduously sowed in both Opposition and Government under Tony Abbott and, one MP floats the idea of tailoring the rationales put forward, perceptions aired, arguments used, lies told, as a magic political antidote to Liberal-Nationals woe:

Victorian Liberal MP ­Michael Sukkar, who holds the marginal Melbourne seat of Deakin, said the electorate had a “misalignment of expectations’’ about the government’s ability to turn around the economy in just over a year. He said the government needed to communicate its agenda to voters better and tailor the political argument differently when addressing the southern and northern states.

“We all just have to explain our rationale for the decisions we’ve made a lot better,’’ he told The Australian.

Based on the current anti-Abbott backlash in Victoria, Liberal strategists believe the seats of Deakin (3.2 per cent), Corangamite (3.9 per cent), La Trobe (4 per cent) and Dunkley (5.6 per cent) will fall. That could leave the Coalition holding just 12 of Victoria’s 37 federal seats. Casey (7.2 per cent) is also at risk.

In South Australia, Hindmarsh (1.9 per cent) would be a Labor gain on current voting intentions and the safer seats of Boothby (7.1 per cent) and Sturt (10 per cent) are also at risk amid angst over the collapse of the car industry and broader economic uncertainty. This could leave the Coalition with just three of South Australia’s 11 federal seats.
Labor has not held Dunkley since 1996, Sturt since 1972 and Boothby since 1949.

Sturt is held by Education Minister Christopher Pyne, who is one of the government’s most prominent members, and he is set to be targeted by unions over his support for budget cuts.
Senior Liberal strategists have told The Australian that anti-­Abbott sentiment is “profound’’ in Victoria and was key to last month’s state election defeat. “You are looking at a bloodbath in Victoria,” a senior Liberal said. “Seats will fall and any gains we made in 2013 will be wiped out.”…..

In South Australia, both major parties accept that three federal Liberal seats are vulnerable if Mr Abbott’s popularity does not vastly improve.

The seat most at risk is Hindmarsh, which covers Adelaide’s inner western suburbs. Hindmarsh had been held by Labor’s Steve Georganas since 2004 but was wrested away at the last election by Liberal Matt Williams.

Mr Williams said he was concerned about the impact of anti-Abbott sentiment in South Australia and said funding cuts, including to industry, had been having a negative impact.

“We have to address that negative perception and get the facts out there so the public become better aware,” he said. “The agenda is dominated by a state Labor government and ministers constantly speaking about federal issues. In regards to defence shipbuilding, I have raised the issue of defence projects for South Australia with the Prime Minister. We have to be a bit more optimistic in terms of what opportunities there are going forward.’’

The comments come after an analysis of Newspolls from October to December showed a marked shift over 12 months.

The analysis found the Coalition ahead only in Western Australia and trailing 60 per cent to 40 per cent in Victoria.

If Newspoll were replicated at a federal election, seven seats would fall in Victoria alone. The Coalition holds 90 seats in the 150 seat parliament, Labor 55.

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