Tuesday, 19 January 2016

More signs Turnbull's political honeymoon is over?

Roy Morgan Research, 13 January 2016:

Roy Morgan Research’s Business Confidence declined by a further 4.2 points in December (down 3.5% to 114.5), following on from the November decline of 0.6 points (down 0.5%). The combined drop of 4.8 points (down 4.0%) over the last two months is a likely indication that the initial burst of confidence following Malcolm Turnbull becoming Prime Minister is beginning to “cool off”, although it still  remains  11.6% above the level prior to his appointment.

These December figures are the results of 1,001 interviews with a cross section of businesses across Australia.

The level of Business Confidence in December is still positive for the economy but the last two months have seen a decline which now puts it below the five-year average (116.9) and is a sign that confidence is very fragile.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence finished the year on 115.4 (12-13th December), up marginally on the November average of 115.0; but early signs for January (9th and 10th) show that this has also slipped back to 114.1. With both surveys showing signs of weakening, it appears that the initial improvement in outlook among both consumers and businesses following the leadership change is being overtaken by adverse world and local economic events.

Five year graph from December 2010 to December 2015

The Australian, 13 January 2016:

A factional brawl within the Liberal Party risks engulfing Malcolm Turnbull in the lead-up to this year’s election, as his emboldened moderate faction prepares to challenge key supporters of Tony Abbott for preselection.

Right-aligned senator Con­cetta Fierravanti-Wells and Craig Kelly, MP for the Sydney seat of Hughes, are almost certain to face challenges from the moderate faction of the party, while fellow ­Abbott supporter and conser­vative rising star Angus Taylor is also at “serious risk” of losing his seat if moderate convert Russell Matheson launches a challenge.

The factional posturing is also expected to see challenges against Bronwyn Bishop in Mackellar, Philip Ruddock in Berowra and Ann Sudmalis in Gilmore, while veteran senator Bill Heffernan is under pressure to retire and make way for the party’s country vice-president, Hollie Hughes.

With at least half a dozen sitting members facing preselection challenges when nominations open next week, Liberal sources have told The Australian the Prime Minister may need to intervene to prevent a factional blow-up in his home state of NSW…..

The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January 2016:

Last week, factional battles erupted inside the party as the powerful moderate camp, inspired by the ascension of Mr Turnbull, have moved to unseat conservative MPs.
Angus Taylor, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Bronwyn Bishop, John Alexander and Craig Kelly have all been mentioned as vulnerable incumbents.
Senator Abetz said that this culture cost them the 2010 election, in which the Coalition fell only two seats short of forming government.

The Australian, 18 January 2016:

Forget the weekend storm in a teacup about Malcolm Turnbull attending the Mardi Gras as the Prime Minister, not just the local MP. The event really causing agitation on the Right side of Liberal ranks involves Lucy Turnbull.
She’s planning to have an in-depth conversation “on leadership, cities, communities and social innovation” with the impressively credentialed Melody Barnes, director of the White House domestic policy council and assistant to President Barack Obama between 2009 and 2012 and, earlier, chief counsel to senator Edward M Kennedy, as well as a director of legislative affairs for the US Equal Opportunity Commission. Barnes’s political affiliations have caused some eyebrows to rise. But what’s sparked simmering anger in conservative circles is the host for the event, the decidedly Labor-leaning think-tank Per Capita, founded by dotcom multi-millionaire and former Victorian Labor MP Evan Thornley from a blueprint drawn up by sometime Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan speechwriter Dennis Glover.

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