Malcolm’s malaise

Ray Hadley reckons that if Turnbull can’t lead Bill Shorten by 20 points he doesn’t deserve to be prime minister. According to the latest Newspoll in the ‘Better PM’ stakes Shorten has taken ground off Turnbull. Turnbull is now only 9 in front compared to 14 last time.

As to how well they are doing their job, 32% approve of Shorten compared to 30% for Turnbull. And it’s not new. Shorten was 2% ahead back in November, and has tended to shade him ever since (three times out of four). Of course both are in net negative territory.

In ‘Two Party’ terms it’s 53-47 to Labor, compared to 52-48 last time. Here are the individual party votes:

    Coalition 36 (down 1)

    Labor 36 (up 1)

    Greens 10 (up 1)

    One Nation 10 (same)

    Other 8 (down 1)

The accompanying article says that voters continue to desert the major parties. In fact they are deserting one party only. The Coalition has lost 6 points since the election while Labor has gained one. The Greens are steady, One Nation has picked up from 1.3 % to 10% at the expense of the LNP and ‘Others’.

Elsewhere Essential has Labor ahead 54-46 in one place, and 53-47 in the other.

Katherine Murphy says that the government is squandering opportunities for good policy, for example in housing and energy, for reasons that are not clear.

Perhaps she has not heard of the alt-right.

In the case of housing, the Reserve Bank, Treasury and other bodies and commentators favour doing something about negative gearing and capital gains. However, Turnbull has locked himself in, and housing has become part of our retirement savings system. The government can’t afford for house prices to go down. However, it can’t afford for them to go up much more either. They’ve promised to attend to this issue in the budget, so we wait with bated breath.

In other Essential polls, people do not feel strongly about the Racial Discrimination Act. 28% support changes, while 27% oppose, 28% have no strong opinion and 17% don’t know.

On a carbon emissions trading scheme, 51% favour and 20% oppose. Indeed it’s 49-29 in favour for LNP voters.

People don’t like Sally McManus’s notion of breaking the law. They oppose law-breaking 50-37.

People are clear that the LNP are the party for the rich. However support for Labor as the party representing people on average incomes, pensioners, welfare recipients and low-income earners is tepid (40 to 49%) with ‘don’t know’ prominent.

Phillip Adams and Laura Tingle were suggesting on Monday night that people have perhaps stopped listening to Malcolm Turnbull. If the LNP had an alternative leadership candidate, he would be in terminal trouble. As it is, he lingers, becoming the walking dead. Will we see Lazarus rising?

4 thoughts on “Malcolm’s malaise”

  1. Peter Lewis looks at the Essential poll on which interests the parties serve:

    While the Australian lauded the deal as a “grand tax bargain”, strategically it looks more like an own goal.

    As the centrepiece of the government’s trickledown economics agenda, the tax cuts have been ushered in at a time of flat-lining wages, cuts to penalty rates and a heightened debate over the minimum wage.

    The government’s partial success on company tax cuts has two immediate consequences. First, it plays into the storyline that it is putting the interests of businesses ahead of working people. Second, it ensures the issue of cuts to larger companies remain at the centre of the policy context.

    We know from polling that the public oppose the tax cuts by a factor of around two to one, but politically, that’s not the half of it.

  2. Turnbull’s recent parliamentary speeches come across as those of a lawyer being paid to defend a particular position. Problem is that I suspect my bullshit detector isn’t the only one that rattles during these performances.
    The long term health of the LNP needs a party split.

  3. Saw a suggestion the other day that Turnbull is ahead of Beazley as the “best prime minister we never had”.
    I thought of Beazley as a “policy vacuum in search of power.”
    And Turnbull? “The man who ditched his policies in search of power?”

  4. John there was a Clark and Dawe segment replayed today, where Clark played Turnbull, and what he believed on anything depended entirely on the role he was playing as to whether he was PM or himself and who the audience was.

    Pure gold!

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