The appalling Liberal Party performance in the five Super Saturday by-elections confirms what has long been obvious.
This is that if Malcolm Turnbull remains leader, the next election will result in a Bill Shorten Labor government, with a far-left agenda.
Once again, Turnbull has demonstrated that he is a self-indulgent, ineffective campaigner and that to the electorate, his LINO (Liberal In Name Only) agenda seems little different from Labor’s, and that they might as well try them.
A feeling of gloom has settled across the Liberal Party, its members still outraged by the treacherous undermining of their leader by ministers, supported by constant leaking to a hostile media. Many members have left or have gone on strike.
As we have long pointed out here, the euphoria with which the commentariat greeted Turnbull’s coup has never been mirrored in the electorate.
This was first put to the test a few weeks after the coup in the North Sydney by-election. With the Liberals campaigning there as if Turnbull were the candidate, the result was not a landslide but a 13 per cent swing against him in what is a blue ribbon Liberal electorate.
Then came the 2016 double dissolution election which he almost lost but for the unpopularity of the Andrews’ government in Victoria.
As the Liberal Party is almost alone among similar parties in comparable countries in leaving the choice of the leader to the parliamentary caucus, the question is whether they wish to go over the cliff and commit suicide with Malcolm Turnbull. As the election approaches their minds will be concentrated superbly.
There is an alternative. They could choose the proven best campaigner in parliament. He is enunciating not a populist but a popular agenda on the issues of most concern to voters, electricity prices and getting out of the Paris global warming agreement, secure borders and lowering immigration, action on the debt, strong action on defence and harvesting the massive water resources of this country.
This is, of course, Tony Abbott.
The result would be a Coalition landslide.
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