Scott Morrison Is About To Have A Really Bad Week
Good morning and welcome to Monday! Some politics is happening! It’s going to be a very rough time for Scott Morrison! Isn’t politics fun!
In case you missed it over the weekend, the Victorian Liberals were absolutely annihilated in the state election. The result was far worse than anyone predicted, and today the fallout will hit Canberra as politicians gather for the final Parliamentary sitting fortnight of the year.
On top of that, there was another disastrous poll for the government overnight, and let’s not forget that this is the first time Parliament has sat since the government lost the Wentworth by-election, and therefore its majority.
So basically there are a whole heap of landmines ScoMo will have to dodge if he wants to make it to the Christmas break in one piece. Here’s everything that could go wrong for him this week.
The “Bloodbath” In Victoria
So, as mentioned, the Liberals lost BADLY in Victoria over the weekend, and whenever a party loses this badly, it immediately starts looking for someone to blame. Some conservatives are quickly losing their minds, blaming everything from Malcolm Turnbull (lol) to Safe Schools (double lol). Other MPs have reportedly said that the Victorian Liberals would have done better if Peter Dutton was PM, which shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between Victorians and Queenslanders.
If the loss were reflected in next year’s federal election, the government could lose six or seven seats in Victoria alone, and that would be the end of the government.
Meanwhile, Scott Morrison hasn’t even bothered to acknowledge the result yet, which is unusual. Normally you’d expect the PM to release a statement congratulating the winner, even if they are from the other side of politics. It’s just polite, y’know? But ScoMo hasn’t even done that yet. He must be in a bad mood.
Ok this is very weird he has congratulated this victory and not mentioned the other thing https://t.co/rSsZ6wZApQ
— 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕒 𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 (@samanthamaiden) November 25, 2018
But he and deputy leader Josh Frydenberg will be meeting with Victorian federal MPs today to try to dissect the loss. Now sure, it’s possible that they’ll take the chance for some honest reflection. Maybe they’ll concede that tossing Turnbull out of office was a mistake, or that running a racist fear campaign backfired on them.
But it’s more likely they’ll blame anyone but themselves. Already, Victorian Liberal Party President has blamed… voters. Saying they just want too much free shit, and that’s not in the Liberal Party’s DNA. How dare voters want well-funded hospitals and public transport!
Michael Kroger: The public thirst for unparalleled public expenditure is at levels we’ve never seen before.
The Liberal Party cannot compete with that. It’s not in the Liberal Party’s DNA to run up huge debts.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 25, 2018
Another Victorian, Senator Scott Ryan, has taken a shot at his more conservative colleagues and far-right commentators like those on Sky News at night.
“I am sick of being lectured to by people who are not members of the party, by people who have never stood on polling booths about what it means to be a real Liberal,” he told Sky News.
Conservatives just love being lectured to, so this should go down well.
Hey, What Happened To Your Majority?
ScoMo faces a whole other challenge as Parliament re-convenes today. It’s the first time MPs have been back in town since the historic Wentworth by-election loss that cost the government its majority.
Kerryn Phelps will take her seat as the member for Wentworth, and she has the power to cause a lot of trouble for the government. The last time Parliament sat, Peter Dutton survived a motion for a vote of no confidence by a single vote. That was after a report found he had misled Parliament in the au pair affair.
There’s a good chance Labor and the Greens will try to force another vote this week. If Phelps votes with them, the motion will succeed, and that could have unknown consequences for the government. Would Dutton then be referred to the High Court over his eligibility questions? Would he have to resign as a minister, or even an MP? Would the government lose its majority and have to go to an election? Who can say! Politics!
The lost majority also means the government will have to be realyl on its game to ensure they don’t get tricked up by any sneaky Labor moves in the House. The Labor party has been quite good at this in the past, while the government has been… quite bad.
Another Bad Newspoll For Scott Morrison
The fortnightly Newspoll was released this morning and it was… bad for the government. It showed yet another drop in the party’s primary vote (34, down from 35), and the two-party preferred vote is steady at 45-55.
After a huge drop when Turnbull was dumped in August, ScoMo’s poll numbers showed small signs of improvement for a brief period. But that period is over now, with polls consistently showing the government would get thrashed if an election were held today. It’s a sign that people have just stopped listening to the government.
If those numbers were reflected at an election, it would result in a loss of 21 seats for the Coalition, and that means we’ll get Prime Minister Bill Shorten in about six months’ time.
Rob Stott is the Managing Editor of Junkee Media. You can yell at him about politics @Rob_Stott.