Tony Abbott, who has been blamed for the downfall of local Liberal parties across Australia was banished from talking Queensland election today; in a rare move and as a sign of his deep unpopularity, he hasn’t even visited Queensland since the campaign began.
Instead Mr. Abbott toured a small dairy company in rural Victoria, talking up his government’s trade deals met with South Korea, China and Japan. But Mr. Abbott faced more questions of his obscure decision to knight Prince Phillip and the growing rumours that in six months time he will face a leadership challenge from either Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop.
The Liberals have never had a female serve as Prime Minister or premier.
But what makes the election so unbearably humiliating for Liberal National is that they should have won this election by a country mile.
On the night of the 24th of March, 2012, Liberal National leader Campbell Newman secured 64.2% of the two party preferred vote and 49.6% of the first preferences. In seats, that translated to 78 seats for the Centre-right Liberal National, 7 seats for the Centre-left Labor Party, and 2 seats for the socially conservative, economically leftist Australia Party.
It was a landslide. No two ways about that. Campbell Newman hadn’t even held a seat in the outgoing parliament, but he found his way there by winning the seat of Ashgrove; traditionally left-leaning seat in Brisbane’s west.
So what makes the 2015 result, although not yet confirmed, so stunning, is that Liberal National has come so close to losing the unlosable.
Labor leader Annastacia Palaszcuk told undecided voters at the leaders debate last night that “Labor had learned its lesson” and that it was ready to govern again. She called the re-rise of the Queensland Labor Party a story of ‘David vs Goliath’ as Palaszcuk and her party of seven MPs took over Campbell Newman and his near 80. And for her party to come from so far behind, to almost win, and still quite possibly claim a hung parliament, is a success story.
To further dampen the spirits of the LNP, the party leader and premier, Campbell Newman, is widely expected to lose his seat to the Labor candidate.
Labor leader in rally against asset sales: