Is this the case for Tony?

From the latest Essential Media Report (this updates every week).

The case for Tony

It looks like actual Liberal voters are the only people who support Tony Abbott. By contrast much of Malcolm Turnbull’s support comes from ALP and Greens voters. To be sure those people are very unlikely to vote Liberal at a general election. Most of them? Yes.

Right now, however, the Liberals don’t have a majority of voters voting for them anyway. The Essential Media Report has the 2PP at 47 – 53. So they are going to have to pick up votes somewhere. This is where Turnbull can come in.

Here is a very good quote from Milton Friedman (via Greg Mankiw):

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Youtube clip here.

Here is the thing: There is no downside to either the ALP or the Greens totally ignoring the Abbott government’s agenda (what’s that you say?). Abbott simply cannot create an environment where the wrong people would do the right thing (i.e. support good policy in the Senate). But a third of ALP and Greens voters would be open to Turnbull being leader. He could create such an environment.

So here is Abbott’s problem – neatly explained in the Essential Media Report. Not enough people outside of his own rusted on support base reckon Abbott is up to the task of being PM. If the Liberals already held a majority of the vote that wouldn’t matter. But they don’t. The Liberals are in a position of having to pick up votes from here to win the next election. That means broadening their appeal.

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54 Responses to Is this the case for Tony?

  1. Eddystone

    Not enough people outside of his own rusted on support base reckon Abbott is up to the task of being PM.

    And he scraped quite a few of us off, like barnacles, when he banned the importation of the Adler shotgun.

    If he wont stand for evidence based policy that keeps his natural supporters on side, but panders to the left (of which I believe he is a member), then there is absolutely no reason to vote for him.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    This is what is called trolling.

    If asked who the best leader of the Labor Party I will of course answer anyone except Shorten.

    It amazes me people bother with this crap.

  3. Lem

    The question they asked goes to marketing the politician.

    But the answer by next year (when the reality of the economy starts to bite) could be Scott Morrison.

  4. Rorschach

    The split second a Government begins to be more concerned about re-election they should be turfed. Wrong priority.

  5. Rorschach

    The split second a Government begins to be more concerned about re-election they should be turfed. Wrong priority.

  6. Habib

    Drifting even further to the left would cause their voter base to erode. A good thing for the LDP if they can field enough candidates. I and a substantial number of my acquiantances will abstain or vote informal rather than give these reform and ethic allergic gerbils another tilt. If it results in Pie Boy and his cretinous retinue slithering into office, so be it. Most Australians now deserve no better, and the resultant carnage should provide some bargins for the astute, and finally put a goodly dose of chlorine through the polluted political pool.

  7. Viva

    I agree you need a good persuader whom people are inclined to trust/respect to carry through a tough agenda. Abbott is not that man. For a long long time I thought (hoped) it would turn out differently – that he would eventually win over the people. But he hasn’t – instead he’s lost people like me.

  8. Baldrick

    Right now, however, the Liberals don’t have a majority of voters voting for them anyway. So they are going to have to pick up votes somewhere. This is where Turnbull can come in.

    No so fast dear professor.

    A significant majority of Liberal voters will vote Liberal because Abbott. They will not vote Liberal because Turnbull.

    So it doesn’t matter how much Turncoat picks up from the Greens or Labor, they will still be worse off, under Turnbull, in my humble opinion.

  9. Tim Neilson

    Habib
    #1757022, posted on August 4, 2015 at 6:41 pm
    Vote informal in the House, and write on your ballot paper why you’re doing it.
    But vote LDP or Family First in the Senate, even at the risk that the preferences will flow to the Coalition.
    NB Sinc “best leader of the Liberal Party” doesn’t imply “up to the task of being PM”.

  10. The Liberal Party has pretty much always had a cockhead as PM. (This is not an endorsement of any other party – most of whom have worse)

  11. blogstrop

    We remember Malcolm from last time, and it wasn’t good. He’d have lumbered us all with the carbon pricing system and said it’s for our own good. Epic fail.

  12. blogstrop

    The Libs would have to become twice as bad as they are now before voting for Labor/Greens became an option.

  13. Gab

    It’s bad enough we’ve got a socialist leading the Liberals. We don’t need a greentard in his place.

  14. Baldrick

    Essential should have included Malcolm Turnbull in the ‘Best Leader of the Labor Party’ category.

    My case in point – ‘Someone else’ scored the highest percentage.

  15. Megan

    There are at least 5 Coalition voters at Casa Megan who will definitely not vote for them if Turnbull is leader. And I’m sure we are not an isolated few. I agree with Viva, I was prepared to give Abbott a go but he is classic DLP and lost me when he reneged on 18C. Turnbull will not be any better and could do a lot worse.

    We have multiple voters between 18 and 60 who have lived in a time of unprecedented (historically) peace and prosperity. They have no idea of the fragility of both of those things or of civilisation as another commenter has pointed out on the Dutch Welfare thread. Habib at 6:15pm has pointed out the way things will probably go. Experience is the best teacher but does not discriminate in the way it can cruelly deliver an education.

  16. Pickles

    The best leader of the Libs would of course be me. Huck and Gab would vote for me so that’s 2. Tony Snell would as well cause he knows that if he didn’t he’d be Don Randall.

  17. Gab

    More than 2, Pickles, as I’d vote early and often for you.

  18. Rob MW

    Sinc – I know what the poll says and all that. My curiosity turns on where disenfranchised – see QLD state election – PUP voters park their first preference given that the poll relies on what happened at the last election and given that PUP has no electoral statistical history to rely on ?

    I think at the last election PUP first preferenced at about 5% (?)nationally.

  19. Badjack

    If anyone believes that people who openly acknowledge they vote for the Labor Party or the Greens will ever vote for the Liberals then they are dumber than dumb. Those people are rabid, they hate with a vengeance.

  20. H B Bear

    This type of polling is worse than irrelevant.

    Abbott isn’t even a half decent PM and yet he is miles ahead of KRudd and Gillard. Labor look like taking Peanut Head, the dregs of the R-G-R cabinet, a carbon tax and a half arsed boat policy back to the electorate in 2016. He will still win.

  21. Art Vandelay

    The Liberals are in a position of having to pick up votes from here to win the next election. That means broadening their appeal.

    Turnbull’s leadership didn’t exactly “broaden the appeal” the Coalition back in 2009. In fact, it had the opposite effect. According to Newspoll:

    Two party preferred: Coalition 43, ALP 57

    Better PM: Rudd 65, Turnbull 14

    source

  22. Alfonso

    Hmmm , you know you picked up the Labor poll demographic without even trying.
    That green left will never , even slightly, possibly, ever, support their supposed preferred Turnbull run Libs.
    The Lib base was, however, apoplectic via phone and email to its MPs when Mal last wanted to challenge.
    My local bloke got so spooked he was near burning Mal’s effigy on the post office steps

    I presume your support for the dinner party green, UN suckhole, CAGWarmist, crony socialist, ABC loving Mal is a cunning contrarian plot.

  23. Austin Mangosteen

    I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

    Milton Friedman should have just said what he really meant Money Trumps Peace

  24. duncanm

    who do the other 60-70% of non-LNP voting people prefer for leader of the libs?

    Is Sinc trying to start his own leadership spill?

  25. DrBeauGan

    Evidently Sinc isn’t asking who the cats would vote for but enquiring whether Turnbull would have a better chance of getting a win for LNP than Abbott. In my judgment he would not, He would lose even more of the base than Abbott has, and the numbers coming from outside would be negligible. The poll results tell us very little but support my claim of a loss of the base.

    My feeling is that even if I am wrong and a Turnbull led LNP got in, it would be even more useless than the present mob. Gab gets it right. Better a DLP dimwit like Abbott than a greenslime creep like Turnbull.

    Jeez, what a choice!

  26. Turnbull is a traditional lawyer, all tricks, no real leadership. Howard had character, loyalty & integrity so was able develop a following.

    Turnbull has none of the above. Like Rudd, he’ll be dead once the polls, plunge. And they will quickly.

    Go read the early editions of Media Watch Dog at tbe a Sydney Institute to see how the left hated him with equal passion to Abbott. Tjey were unrelenting.

    His sane idea of capping the bank guarantee was smashed, and therefore as were small lenders.

  27. Evidently Sinc isn’t asking who the cats would vote for but enquiring whether Turnbull would have a better chance of getting a win for LNP than Abbott.

    We get that.

    The left will destroy everyone. Most especially those who pathetically seek their love.

    If Turnbull was 1/2 as bright as people claim he’d have tangible political wins after 2 years as Com Minister.

    He has some basic admin achievements. Problem he is clueless when it comes to political acumen (unlike Morrison).
    …except when white anting a colleague.

  28. Oh come on

    A good thing that Tony Abbott isn’t running for President. As things stand, you may not like Abbott yet still vote for a coalition candidate in your electorate. A popular PM doesn’t guarantee their party re-election, and of course the reverse is true, as well.

  29. Baldrick

    Is Sinc trying to start his own leadership spill?

    duncanm, surely you jest 😉

  30. Kaboom

    Sinc, I visit the Cat in order to absorb reasonably articulated conlib philosophy – putting the Member for Goldman Sach’s head above the parapet over Abbott’s sorely disappointing and lacklustre performance as Prime Minister is simply not helpful.

    Much more is required in order to stop a Newman-style debacle come this time next year. Much more than a Turnbull or any of his socialist ilk can possibly offer. Jesus, just think of CFL bulbs on a grandiose scale – the whole country will seriously be a toilet, as IT was once wont to say.

  31. Jansen

    Tuenbull is wealhyenough to be an iconoclast.
    Quite a nice bloke personally.
    Wouldn’t have in charge of any institution thatI cared about though.

  32. Tel

    There are at least 5 Coalition voters at Casa Megan who will definitely not vote for them if Turnbull is leader. And I’m sure we are not an isolated few.

    I would only vote for Turnbull if he moved across to the ALP and demonstrated his undermining skills by backstabbing Shorten. Think of it as fulfilling the spirit of destiny. The ALP could have a genuine luvie instead of a pretend union luvie… surely better, isn’t it?

  33. JC

    Sinc

    Is there a poll which shoes where the two party would be with Turnbull as leader vs Abbott? I think that should be the more important count.

  34. Bruce of Newcastle

    Is there a poll which shoes where the two party would be with Turnbull as leader vs Abbott? I think that should be the more important count.

    JC – It would be meaningless for the reason I mentioned. Ask a Labor rusted-on if they would vote for the LNP with Turnbull as leader of course they’re going to say yes. They’re not stupid. They’d love the idea of Turnbull as Opposition leader voting with the glorious ALP to pass all sorts of stuff for them.

  35. Rorschach

    24% (no change since February) think Malcolm Turnbull would make the best leader of the Liberal Party, 18% prefer Tony Abbott (up 7%) and 17% prefer Julie Bishop (down 4%).

    Among Liberal/National voters, 41% (up 18%) prefer Tony Abbott, 21% (down 3%) Malcolm Turnbull and 17% (down 9%) Julie Bishop.

    The above from the Essential site’s small print paints a totally different picture.

  36. Leigh Lowe

    Sinc
    Is there a poll which shoes where the two party would be with Turnbull as leader vs Abbott? I think that should be the more important count.

    I think such a poll would be skewed by the “Q&A Audience” effect.
    We would find “Coalition voters” coming out of the woodwork to support a Turnbull led Coalition and as soon as the buy it and sack Tony … oops, all return to base.

  37. Gab

    24% (no change since February) think Malcolm Turnbull would make the best leader of the Liberal Party, 18% prefer Tony Abbott (up 7%) and 17% prefer Julie Bishop (down 4%).

    Among Liberal/National voters, 41% (up 18%) prefer Tony Abbott, 21% (down 3%) Malcolm Turnbull and 17% (down 9%) Julie Bishop.

    Scott Morrison would blow them all out of the water.

    Vrroooooooommm!

  38. Andrew

    This sort of so-called analysis is not based in reality. These sorts of figures have been the case for nearly 6 years now and Abbott has done far more to progress the conservative cause than Malcolm could have ever dreamed. I am not happy about the performance of the government but to say Malcolm would do a better job is laughable. On that sort of logic, the Victorian Liberals were correct to select Red Ted as leader over a more conservative candidate because he appeals to left-wing voters more than most in the Libs.

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    JC – the betting market shows that result. The betting market has Abbott more likely than Turnbull to be PM at the time of the election AND has the Liberals winning the election. So that answers your question and undermines my argument.

  40. Cold-Hands

    So it doesn’t matter how much Turncoat picks up from the Greens or Labor, they will still be worse off, under Turnbull, in my humble opinion.

    +1000

  41. Kool Aid Kid

    Prejudice is an awful blind Sinclair. For starters, very few Australian voters would either vote or see themselves voting in consistent way. The vast majority are unaligned. In fact it is evident that the so called rusted on folk are quite few.
    The issue with our politics is: who will lead on the hard issues with sufficient conviction and capacity? Quite clearly neither the PM nor Opposition leader has any will and as a result no traction with the public.
    It may be that the polling you cite indicates the real concern of voters more generally to find a real leader. Whether Turnbull can deliver on that is in doubt. But it is what’s missing. And the politics of a so-called “base” for major parties is what the ALP is reduced to and what Conservatives should abhor.

  42. Tim Neilson

    Party disunity is a vote loser. Abbott being white anted by Turncoat et. al. is bad, but imagine the disaster if Turncoat got in. Just about every sitting member would get fragged by their party branch…
    Actually even while writing this post I’ve started to warm to the idea.

  43. Roger

    Poor reasoning and poor English; you can surely do better, Professor.

  44. Sinclair Davidson

    Yeah, yeah, everyone’s a critic.

  45. Clam Chowdah

    This old chestnut?

    Tiresome.

  46. JC

    Sinc
    JC – the betting market shows that result. The betting market has Abbott more likely than Turnbull to be PM at the time of the election AND has the Liberals winning the election. So that answers your question and undermines my argument.

    I thought about that but I’m not entirely sure that it does. The betting market is basically a bet on who will lead the party to the polls and win. It’s not really sure it’s a square up between the two.

    Sure you could say that the party is likely to go with the person they think will carry them through, but at the same time it doesn’t really tell you who would be the best candidate other than who the punters think will lead.

  47. JohnA

    It looks like actual Liberal voters are the only people who support Tony Abbott. By contrast much of Malcolm Turnbull’s support comes from ALP and Greens voters. To be sure those people are very unlikely to vote Liberal at a general election. Most of them? Yes.

    Well, DUH!

    MT – the best ALP leader in the Liberal Party.

  48. Ubique

    Turnbull would not pick up any votes from the green-left. He has their enthusiastic and devoted support – but only as Opposition leader, permanently.

  49. stackja

    Yes Sinc “mush of Malcolm Turnbull’s support” as ALP lie and win every time. The gullible keep falling for the lies.

  50. If it results in Pie Boy and his cretinous retinue slithering into office, so be it. Most Australians now deserve no better, and the resultant carnage should provide some bargins for the astute, and finally put a goodly dose of chlorine through the polluted political pool.

    My sentiments exactly Habib. Sometimes a drunk needs to wake up in the gutter sans home and family, before they reform. It is often of no value to support them on the downslope – the assistance they need is on the return.
    “It is no kindness to hang a man slowly.” Author unknown.

  51. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Sometimes a drunk needs to wake up in the gutter sans home and family, before they reform.

    True, sometimes a shock is needed. But often they just stagger on and things get worse and angrier.
    This is also true of the political scenario of decline – see Greece – solid splits to hard left and hard right.
    And another short-term ‘rescue’ from Great Aunt EU, who is in her dotage and not long in for the ride.
    Things can get very bad indeed before they get better. It can take generations, and wars and famines.

    I don’t have any answers, except try to keep people focused on looking out for themselves and being productively useful. Politically a country may be better rehabilitated by taking small steps back from the welfarist drunken binge. The Dutch are showing how to put out the argument for that. Abbott and Co can probably win on what they are doing (although they’d better drop more Medicare tax grab and stick up for a GST rise), thus giving Sir Scott time to advance and explain the idea of self-reliance.

    Turnbull is not a unifier in spite of his urban dinner party approval. He’s looking pretty thin and old on it now too, imho. Losing that ebullient shine, and as people point out above, what is left? He is not a particularly good other-side-of-politics communicator vs the Zeitgeist, not a patch on Sir Scotty Morrie. Turnbull’s lefty performances on Q and A demonstrate this, all Mr. Agreeable Agreement.

    That said, he’s a good local member. Found his métier there.

  52. Pusnip

    The assumption that Turnbull is to the left of Abbott is contestable. Abbott is socially conservative, Turnbull is socially liberal. Abbott is in practice a big spender who simply mouths lower tax mantras, Turnbull could actually deliver as he would be able to get bills through the senate and is not the lame duck on policy that Abbott is.

  53. Ross

    Is there a poll which shoes where the two party would be with Turnbull as leader vs Abbott? I think that should be the more important count.

    There is and it supports Sincs point.

    http://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/leadership-poll-finds-tony-abbott-should-go-but-malcolm-turnbull-wont-put-coalition-ahead-20150207-138t2y

    It would be meaningless for the reason I mentioned. Ask a Labor rusted-on if they would vote for the LNP with Turnbull as leader of course they’re going to say yes.

    There’s no way of proving this. I highly doubt there are enough politically engaged people to deliberately mislead a pollster for political advantage. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the pollster.

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