BEWARE: THE CURSE OF TURNBULL
At the time of writing, the Coalition is neck and neck with the Labor Party as counting continues at a glacial pace. Sydney is now surrounded by red as Labor has taken back the Howard Battler seats. Malcolm Turnbull has lead the Liberal Party almost to the brink of losing the election.
Some seats like Banks were lost before the election because of boundary changes. But the blame for this massive loss must lie at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull, Mark Textor and Tony Nutt for what has turned out to be the worst campaign in years. Mark Textor was responsible for the slur that conservatives don't matter - leading to the rise of the Delcons (Delusional Conservatives).
The campaign was a basketcase, allowing Labor to gain traction in the dying hours before the polls opened. Labor's Mediscare campaign, the mastermind of Wayne Swan's daughter, Erinn Swan (Head of Digital, Labor Party, QLD) - was underestimated and not a word about the fraudulent messages from Susan Ley, Health Minister. Ms Ley was either too scared to speak or was muzzled.Thousands of people received SMS messages, supposed to be from Medicare, and many people voted accordingly. Instead of being on the front foot, the lie was allowed to spread and the rest is history.
The Liberal Party underestimated Shorten's popularity - who could forget the images of Shorten during the Beaconsfield Mining Disaster of 2006? He was on every TV screen and in every newspaper. He took his election bus through Tasmania during this election campaign, garnering support from Tasmanians. And was rewarded by a huge swing to Labor as a result.
Malcolm Turnbull also warned that Pauline Hanson was not welcome in Parliament. Australians who believe in a fair go for all voted with their feet and now Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party is set to win at least two and possibly four seats in the Senate.
Instead of embracing the polling power and election experience of Tony Abbott, Turnbull preferred to ignore his achievements. Big mistake.
Whatever happens from now rests largely at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull. He has turned out to be anything but the Great Communicator, especially when it comes to communicating to the people in the street. Turnbull continues to blame the 2014 and Tony Abbott, and his mea culpa sounds more like excuses than taking the loss of so many seats on the chin. His messages are falling on deaf ears - the elites may be listening but millions of Australians turned off well before the election.
Before the election:
Things are not going well for the 54 MPs who voted to replace Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull 7 months ago. They’ve seen their initial support sink so that Labor is now 50/50 or 48/52 (depending on the polls) with the Government - and with the wind behind it. Conservatives across Australia are even more horrified at a Government lead by Bill Shorten than one lead by Malcolm Turnbull.
Many Turnbull backers have suffered personally:
Malcolm Turnbull himself has come under severe criticism and pressure, with his personal approval.
Dennis Jensen lost his preselection, and without any irony at all protested at being betrayed. He is now running as an Independent.
Mal Brough had to first resign his ministry and then from Parliament as Police confirmed they were interviewing him over claims that he tried to procure personal information from a public servant about former Speaker Peter Slipper.
Arthur Sinodinos faces renewed criticisms and allegations over what he knew about secret and unlawful donations to the Liberals.
Teresa Gambaro is quitting Parliament.after being denied promotion.
Ian Macfarlane is quitting Parliament after being denied the ministry position he expected from Turnbull and then being blocked from moving to the nationals.
Phillip Ruddock is quitting Parliament after coming under severe presure in his preselection.
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was humiliatingly denied the top spot on the Liberals NSW Senate ticket after anger at her betrayal of Abbott. And her cosy chats with Niki Savva.
Scott Morrison, whose supporters switched to Turnbull, has been marginalised and belittled as Treasurer by the Prime Minister he helped to install (without actually voting for him himself).
Bronwyn Bishop, who so outrageously betrayed Abbott, has lost preselection in favour of Jason Falinski -Liberal apparatchik annointed by Michael Photios. Bronwyn thought she had it in the bag.
Julie Bishop, who plotted with Turnbull and betrayed her leader, has suffered big reputational damage within the party and is now written off as a future leader. In fact, she will be unlikely to serve out another full term.
Stuart Robert has had to resign his ministry after confusing personal interests with his job and faces investigation by police..
Sharman Stone is quitting Parliament.
Michael Ronaldson has quit politics after being dumped as Minister. (Ronaldson was not among the 54, but only because he arrived too late to back Turnbull.)
Luke Simpkins has come under fire over his expenses.
Sarah Henderson, who voted for Turnbull, is likely to lose her seat
Nola Marino was one of Tony Abbott’s deputy whips, charged with keeping him informed of the mood of the backbench. She was very close to plotter Julie Bishop and she voted for Turnbull. There are very strong reservations from locals about her role and loyalties.
Wyatt Roy, who won the seat in a 6.9% swing, is now running neck and neck with Labor, according to the latest Reachtel poll.
Turnbull's Curse from the Tasmanian Times, 13 January 2016
The hapless Malcolm Turnbull is now so deeply beset with interesting times, his predicament will become known as The Turnbull Curse.