Sunday, 1 February 2015

The train wreck that is Tony Abbott

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was always a political train wreck in slow motion. However, it now appears that the crash may be imminent.

January 2015 Galaxy Poll, 1 February 2015:

ABC News, 1 February 2015:

The rout of the Liberal National Party in the Queensland election is being described as "catastrophic" by federal Coalition MPs, with some claiming the Prime Minister is now terminally wounded.
"All we are talking about now is the timing and method of execution," one Queensland MP said.
"This is catastrophic, unimaginable," said another.
Labor looks set to pull off a stunning victory in a cliffhanger election, after securing a double-digit swing that has ended the political career of Premier Campbell Newman…..

The Age, 1 February 2015:

Mr Abbott's grip on power suffered a series of devastating body blows on Saturday, but things got worse late in the evening when Jane Prentice, a Queensland-based federal Liberal National backbencher, warned on live TV that Mr Abbott could face a leadership challenge if he did not nail a critical address to the National Press Club on Monday.
Asked on the ABC whether Mr Abbott was the right person to lead the Coalition to the next election, Ms Prentice replied: "Well, that's a discussion, isn't it? We need to look at where we're going."
"Tony has said he has listened and learned. He is making a keynote speech on Monday at the press club [and] we can't continue as we are. We are not taking the people with us. We are getting bad feedback."
Ms Prentice predicted the Coalition would suffer the same fate as Campbell Newman's first-term state government if "we don't change what we're doing".
Ms Prentice agreed Monday's speech was "make or break" for Mr Abbott.
Asked whether the Queensland result would trigger a leadership spill, Ms Prentice hesitated and replied: "Look, I think our discussion... I think the members will look at the results tonight and they will take those to Canberra." When pressed again about the likelihood of a showdown, she said MPs would "see what he [Mr Abbott] says on Monday"…..

The Courier Mail, 1 February 2015:

THE anti-LNP electoral tsunami in Queensland has set the clock ticking for Tony Abbott.
While state issues, particularly Campbell Newman’s style and asset sales, were dominant in the savage ballot box backlash, federal issues disrupted the LNP campaign and contributed to the swing.
Talk of a GST hike, Medicare rebates, cutting penalty rates and a knighthood for Prince Philip all consumed oxygen the LNP needed to get its message across and gave voters one more reason to vote against the Government.
Now Abbott has to wear some of the blame – and he’d be advised to take it on the chin, to borrow a phrase he used after the knighthood fiasco.
Queensland Coalition MPs around Brisbane and along the coast, all the way to Cape York, will be looking nervously at the towering swings this weekend and wonder if they can stick with Abbott.
They will worry that the sentiment shown against asset sales and service cuts will be repeated at the federal level in reaction to harsh budget measures such as health, pension, welfare and education changes.
Other Coalition MPs around Australia will look at Labor’s January juggernaut and have similar nervous jitters.

The Australian, 31 January 2015:

THE Prime Minister will face the next wave of wrath from his colleagues and the electorate…..
For Abbott there is no doubt his thoughtless and ideologically blind decision to appoint Prince Philip an Australian knight will have played some part in Newman’s loss in Ashgrove.
Federally it will increase the sense of panic and trouble making from Queensland, encourage leadership destabilisation and limit Abbott’s options generally.
Realistically the size of the swing against LNP in Queensland can’t be sheeted home entirely to Abbott but when there is a disaster anyone on the bridge is blamed.
Abbott’s attempts to right his own ship, clumsy and barnacle-busting as they were, will suffer a huge hit from this Queensland State election result.

The Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2015:

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott would lead the Liberal Party to a historic defeat that would deliver a primary vote of just 36 per cent and terminate the careers of more than 40 Coalition MPs if an election was held today.
In a poll that will send shock waves through the Coalition party room, support for the Abbott government has plunged to 57-43 on a two party preferred basis, according to a new Galaxy poll.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Julie Bishop has offered a personal assurance to the Prime Minister in private talks she was not undermining him or campaigning for his job.
However, she was not asked to provide nor did she offer a personal guarantee that she would never challenge in the future.
“We are willing the Prime Minister to succeed,’’ a Liberal MP said.
“But if he can’t succeed, all bets are off.’’
It comes as former Howard Government minister Mal Brough yesterday refused to deny he had been asked by Queensland MPs to challenge for the leadership as a circuit breaker.
Liberal MPs say Ms Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull have assured the Prime Minister they are willing him to succeed as nervous backbenchers warn he has until the end of the year to prove he can take the party to the next election.
Support for Mr Abbott has plunged to just 27 per cent when voters are asked to nominate their preferred prime minister. Support for Bill Shorten has increased to 44 per cent….

The Age, 31 January 2015:

Fairfax Media revealed on Saturday that former Howard government cabinet minister Mal Brough was being urged to challenge Mr Abbott for the prime ministership.
Such a challenge would effectively see Mr Brough act as a stalking horse for an alternative leader such as Julie Bishop or Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Brough did not deny approaches had been made to him when contacted by Fairfax Media. He said only that: "Clearly people are talking to each other because we are all interested in doing what's best for the nation."
A tilt would act as a leadership circuit-breaker for government backbenchers, who are furious with Mr Abbott for a series of recent missteps and misjudgments, culminating in the decision to knight Prince Philip last Monday.
The 2009 leadership contest that saw Mr Abbott replace Mr Turnbull was precipitated by Victorian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews mounting a similar surprise challenge. 
Several sources told Fairfax Media, before polling booths closed on Saturday afternoon, that Mr Brough's next move would depend, in part, on the result in the Queensland election.
News of Mr Brough's surprise leadership aspirations came just a day after Fairfax Media revealed that Ms Bishop and Mr Turnbull had been approached to take the leadership from Mr Abbott but had refused to do so….

Meanwhile anticipation grows……

1 comment:

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