Politics

Extremely Overconfident Man Malcolm Turnbull Reckons He Got Knifed Because He Was Too Popular

Sure mate.

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull has given an interview to the BBC in which he claimed he was ousted as Prime Minister not because his colleagues feared he would lose the next election, but because they feared he would win it. And look, if nothing else, you’ve got to admire the man’s confidence, even if it is woefully misplaced.

Speaking to Politics Live host Andrew Neil, Turnbull insisted that his knifing back in August “said more about the internal politics of the Liberal party than it did about the electorate”, before claiming that the Coalition had been at “level pegging” in public polls versus the Labor Party, and was actually “four points ahead” in marginal seats.

“The government was absolutely in a competitive, winnable position,” Turnbull told Neil. “As I said at the time, [the leadership spill] was essentially a form of madness whipped up internally and also amplified by voices in the media.”

“Basically you could argue that their concern was not that I would lose the election, but rather that I would win it.”

Neil was, as you’d expect, a little bit sceptical about this.

“Are you telling me your own party didn’t want you to win the next election,” the veteran journalist asked. “That’s not credible is it?”

Neil also cast doubt on the assertion that the government had been in a strong position, pointing out that the Coalition had lost 40 Newspolls in a row prior to the spill that saw Scott Morrison nab Turnbull’s job.

But Turnbull was not deterred, insisting that his party had “essentially drawn equal” and that internal polling put them ahead in marginal areas, “which is obviously the only ones that matter, you know, in terms of determining government”.

Turnbull also said that while Morrison could still win the election, it was “a fact” that the party was in a worse position now than it was when he was in charge.