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I follow the political situation here in Australia and post comments to a few sites from time to time. I posted one yesterday to Business Spectator (http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2015/8/18/national-affairs/leadership-talk-swirls-around-coalition):

A Morgan poll in July had Turnbull as preferred Liberal Party leader by 44% of people (up 6% from April). Bishop had 15% of the vote (down 12%). Abbott was on just 13% (up 1%). Coalition voters had Turnbull at 32% (up 2%), Abbott 26% (up 1%), Bishop 16% (down 9%), Morrison 13% (up 5%), Hockey 4% (unchanged). Turnbull would perhaps be the Coalition’s only chance of a second term, given it would need to convince a lot of swinging voters to change their minds.

Labor would obviously prefer Abbott to remain and it seems there’s a good chance the Coalition might be silly enough to oblige. They’ve painted themselves into a corner on this after endlessly criticising Labor’s leadership changes, although the Coalition had four leaders in two years: Howard, Nelson, Turnbull, Abbott. But the Coalition paints itself into various corners criticising Labor and then does a worse job themselves. The budget is a good example. But they still carry on like vengeful schoolkids blaming everyone and everything for their problems but themselves.

You would think something has to give. The latest Morgan poll is at 57:43 in favour of Labor. The poll is much larger than the others and includes people who only use a mobile phone. It’s hard to see this improving with the Coalition’s efforts on marriage equality and climate change.

A number of polls have shown that support for marriage equality is 68-72%, yet the Coalition (read Abbott) has decided to draw the issue out for years, ensuring plenty of internal bickering, and then perhaps have a referendum at a cost of $150 million to find out something we already know: that support for marriage equality is high.

On climate change, they’ve gone with a weak emissions reduction target and prefer non-renewables.But the Climate of the Nation 2015 survey found that 84% of people had solar in their top three preferred energy sources, followed by wind with 69%, gas 21%, nuclear 13% and Abbott’s coal 13%. The same survey found that more than three-quarters of people felt the polluters should pay, not the taxpayers. But carbon pricing is gone and we now have the expensive, ineffective Direct Action policy where the taxpayer pays. The Parliamentary Budget Office estimated the cost to the budget of abolishing carbon pricing to be $18 billion over four years. Surveys have shown that people (and especially economists) prefer carbon pricing to Direct Action.

Then there’s the Dyson Heydon saga.

How many nails do you need in a coffin? It’s quite possible Abbott and the Coalition will think of some more.

Comment by Andrew: “good summary Chrispy”

Comment by Rich: “Thank you for the BEST REASONED, FACT-BASED ANALYSIS I’ve seen ANYWHERE about the current malaise in our Federal political situation!!”

Thanks guys. Yes, it really is a malaise that surely can’t continue medium or long term. Will be interesting to see what happens. Anyone’s guess really. Perhaps the only safe bet is that Tony Abbott won’t be there long term.

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