Last week’s political upheaval that rocked Australia may have shown a bounce for the dollar as Malcolm Turnbull’s own party ousted him as Prime Minister, but it does not appear to have done the Liberals too many favors.
Polling released after a new leader takes charge often demonstrates some sort of bounce and indicates that the decision was a positive one in respect to how the nation feels about the changes. However, with uproar raging across the media and the public, there is a risk that the current incumbent party could end up facing the ire of citizens at the voting booths.
Turnbull saw the end of his premiership late last week as a tumultuous period finally came to a head. Scott Morrison officially became the new leader of both the Liberal Party and Australia last Friday, but polls carried out for the Guardian Essential showed that most voters would have preferred someone else to take the post.
In fact, the Liberal MPs’ decision to vote in Morrison ahead of the other strong candidate, Julie Bishop, has seen the rival Labor Party shoot up a massive ten points in the polls. This points toward a slide in the Liberal Party’s ratings unless their new leader can step in quickly and alleviate these fears.
With the markets rallying upon the announcement of the leadership change, fears arose that Turnbull and the deadlock that he was unable to get through were blockading the economy from progress. This particularly concerns the high prices of energy facing the nation and the country’s commitment to climate change targets agreed upon in Paris in 2015.
With Turnbull’s efforts to bring through a National Energy Guarantee watered down so significantly, he lost control of his party and any ability to get key deals over the line. Now that Morrison is in place, the Liberal Party and ruling coalition hopes to get back to work without these distractions and tackle an economy fraught with stuttering strategies that have failed to bring about impetus for change.
The lack of a leadership bounce for the Liberals is particularly startling given the recent historical support for this being the case. The last four Prime Ministers were all ousted in one way or another by the rest of their party as they sought to allay any damage done before the country went to the polls.
Significant bumps took place in the ratings when Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, but this trend has not continued with the introduction of Scott Morrison.
Of those polled around the country, a majority did not support the change, with only 35% giving it their implicit backing. Only a little more than half of those who would typically support the Coalition said that they approved of the change in leadership.
Two more key statistics are likely to stick out prominently, as it emerged that some 57% of those polled said that they agree with the statement: “The Liberal Party is divided and no longer fit to govern Australia,” and the majority said that an early election must take place.
While some polling questions suggest that Morrison is performing better than those who rivaled him for the post, it is clear that this infight has cost a lot of support from typical Liberal voters.