Five by-elections and not one victory. I’m revising my view that the Turnbull government can win the next election but might not, to that they probably can’t win.
Here is Simon Benson:
The LNP has serious issues with its candidate vetting. The fact a Labor operative could expose the military medal disaster by googling his profile is farcical. The LNP’s unique structure, which lets delegates select candidates with little state executive involvement, speaks for itself. This is not the only problem. The LNP hasn’t grasped it is in a fight for survival with One Nation. Talk of preference deals with Pauline Hanson confirms it has surrendered to mediocrity by ignoring what should be a fundamental pursuit of recovering its primary vote. At a national level, the lack of political management long identified as a problem for the Turnbull government has yet again been exposed.
It lacked a strong narrative to counter Shorten’s class war and anti-business campaign and let Labor continue to perpetrate myths and falsehoods about health policy. Clearly it has learned nothing from the Mediscare campaign. It has not yet dawned on the leadership group it is in an existential fight with the Catholic school sector. This is a failure of policy and politics. Having the sector campaign in Batman where the Liberals weren’t running is one thing; having it enter Longman on the eve of a by-election was a declaration of war.
The conclusion can only be the government’s political strategy, a mystery to some of its own people, does not seem to be working.
This is a government that has annoyed consumers, retirees, and Catholics. It has no friends, because it has no idea who its friends might be.