PM Malcolm Turnbull in trouble

By Rekha Bhattacharjee

The ruling Liberal-National coalition had claimed victory in  Australia’s general election after securing a razor-thin one-seat majority in the lower house of Parliament exactly a year ago ”“ on the 11th  July 2016

After eight days of vote-counting, the coalition finally won the seats needed to form a (paper thin) majority in the House of Representatives on Monday, while the resurgent opposition Labour party secured seats a close second ”“ One Member majority!

Today 11th  July 2017 (in  UK) while receiving the Disraeli Award in  London  – the Prime Minister had to defend his party in his speech.  Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t having a dig at Tony Abbott when he boldly declared the Liberal party was not a conservative one. Cabinet moderates have backed an address the prime minister gave in  London, pointing out Sir Robert Menzies deliberately called his centre-right party Liberal, rather than conservative, when he founded it in 1944.

It is ironic that Tony Abbott (former PM) who was incapable of deal making to build the coalition party, as majority in both houses of parliament in Australia was rare – was hell bent to successfully destabilise the Turnbull government who had won the cooperation of the minor parties with the major Education Reform (Gonski 2.0 school funding legislation) finally being worked out how to govern.

The internal conflict does not seem to have ”“ no obvious solution at present.- only helping the Opposition   – no end in short term. Tony Abbott feels he is needed by the party and believes he can bring around internal party change ”“ A Conservative Agenda   – but there lies   – the danger!

New Liberal Party president Nick Greiner has rejected former PM Tony Abbott’s plan for winning the next election saying it is “never going to happen”. Membership drive is needed.

Party members are coaxing Tony Abbott to leave parliament for the plum job of High Commissioner in  UK.

Prime Minister Turnbull’s problems with the Polls getting worse. In a two party basis ”“ Labor has led in the last 14 or 15 Polls 53 to 47 percent on a two party preferred basis ”“ although Turnbull remains the preferred prime minister with now 41 percent of voters naming him over Labor’s Bill Shorten with 33 percent. The Liberal Coalition has slipped since the last polls.

Bill Shorten the Labor leader has luck on his side. It is enhanced by the Fair Work Com’s decision to cut Sunday Penalty Rates for Retails. The Turnbull government knows the penalty rates is dangerous ground for the Liberals. On both sides ”“ the feeling for the next election is Shorten’s to lose. Shorten lacks the charisma of Turnbull’s!

The danger of Tony Abbott’s moves in party and parliament ”“ has another great danger! He and his cahoots (not many) must ask the very question that Prime Minister John Howard was frightened of – What would Malcolm Turnbull do if he is dumped? That is what they should be asking themselves! Sure if Turnbull can not lift the polls ”“ he should be replaced by some one who might do better. The millionaire Turnbull would not certainly hang around like Abbott – thus bring about a by ”“election in Wentworth! The liberal Government is in power by a majority of one vote! If Turnbull the very popular member for Wentworth resigns ”“ it is not a Liberal seat thus ”“ lose ”“ Wentworth ”“ lose Government as it clings on to a ONE VOTE majority! Howard was worried the blue ribbon seat could fall to Labor ”“ there by fall from power!


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