Malcolm Turnbull. Mister 20 percent.

In what must come as a severe body blow to Malcolm Turnbull, a new Newspoll published in The Australian, has Malcolm Turnbull rated as the preferred Prime Minister at just 20% compared to Kevin Rudd’s rating of 65%.

In the context of a severe economic downturn, increasing unemployment and an uncertain outlook, a 40% lead in terms of the preferred PM must seem like an insurmountable chasm for Turnbull to narrow.

This result almost certainly guarantees Rudd a second term as PM, and if he happens to lift Australia out of recession in his second term, who would deny him a third term? (Unless of course he was found to be running a child porn racket or something like that).

Despite various, and sometimes credible attempts to malign the government over its handling of the GFC, industrial relations and alcopops, the Liberal party must today be conducting some serious navel gazing as to how and what it will take to counter the Rudd juggernaut.

Satisfaction with Mr Turnbull’s performance hit 42 per cent, down from 44 per cent two weeks ago, and dissatisfaction was at a new high of 40 per cent.

The lift in voter satisfaction with the Prime Minister has come after the passage of Labor’s industrial relations laws and finalisation of the Government’s $42 billion economic stimulus package.

Despite two weeks of crucial parliamentary sittings, the support for the major parties is virtually unchanged.

Primary support for the ALP is now 45 per cent compared with 44 per cent two weeks ago, while the Coalition’s primary support is 37 per cent compared with 36 per cent a fortnight ago.

The two-party-preferred result, based on preference flows at the last election, is unchanged, with the ALP on 56 per cent and the Coalition on 44 per cent.

The Labor Government has held a lead over the Coalition of between eight and 18 percentage points after preferences since last December.

In the past two weeks, which included a hectic period in the Senate during which the industrial relations legislation was passed but the $1.6 billion alcopops tax was defeated, and two more Australian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, satisfaction with Mr Rudd remained steady on 63 per cent.

Mr Rudd attributed Labor’s success to the fact it was seen as standing for something.

“People expect consistency of approach, not just opportunism, and I think that’s the message for all political parties,” he said.

So where does this leave the Liberal Party, and Malcolm Turnbull – Mister 20 percent? Clearly their current approach has been inneffectual, which makes one wonder how many rabbits they have left in the hat?

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62 Responses

  1. oh dear,

    Another Newspoll by The Australian puts Costello ahead of Talcum as preferred leader of the Libs..

    When voters were asked last weekend who would have the better chance of defeating Mr Rudd at the next federal election, 46 per cent said Mr Costello and 35 per cent said Mr Turnbull, according to the latest Newspoll survey.

    Seems like The Australian is playing a proactive role in trying to oust Malcolm..

  2. Ah – I long for the halcyon days of Brenda. What good times they were.

  3. “who would deny him a third term? (Unless of course he was found to be running a child porn racket or something like that).”

    He wouldn’t be able to remember, he’d have been full at the time.

  4. Old Kevin must be beside himself. If Obama/Geithner’s latest plan gains support, and is seen as being the beginning of the end of the GFC, how is Mr Rudd going to claim any of it it was a result of his own evil cunning master plan?

    Looks like he missed by that much.

  5. Tony

    How will the coalition claim it was a result of their plan?

    I think the electorate knows that this problem was not of the ALP’s making and that any solution will probably not be as a result of any ALP decision. But they probably realise that at least the ALP tried to do something, whereas the coalition just block the bills in the senate.

  6. Agreed joni.

    Also, the more the Liberal party, in particular Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull try to squeal on about how the Rudd Government has mis-handled the crisis, the more people simply turn off listening.

    The papers are littered with nothing but universal praise from economists and business leaders about the way in which the Government has responded to the crisis, whereas the Liberal party have simply opposed iniatives for the sake of opposing them, without offering any credible alternatives.

    Joe Hockey has gone as far as to blame Kevin Rudd and the Labor party for the economic crisis in Australia which just makes the guy look like a thick, fat, f**kwit.

  7. Hey hey hey reb….nothing wrong with being thick and fat!

  8. Well Kevin hasn’t done anything wrong, he’s working hard to keep us out of the financial shitstorm and he is so much nicer to have around than that nasty, hateful, spiteful Mr Howard.

    I hope malcolm can outlast the extremists and nutters because he really is one of the few sane voices coming out of the Liberal Party.

  9. Kittylitter – “I hope malcolm can outlast the extremists and nutters because he really is one of the few sane voices coming out of the Liberal Party.”

    The poor man is finished if you are on side with him to this degree!

  10. You guys missed my point. I’m talking about the grand plan Kevin has in his briefcase right now. The one to save the world that he’s taking to the G20 meeting.

  11. Tony

    Oh – LOL. Maybe he will misplace it in a NY nighclub.

  12. Yes, it could be mistaken for a ‘menu’.

  13. Let’s just hope that it is not naked. Imagine the outcry and horror? I can imagine the headlines now:

    Adult sees naked adult! Photo on page three.

    Oh the horror!

  14. A lot of Mal’s problem is that he carries so much baggage from the Howard years. Following the recent demise of WorkChoices there were some hopeful bleatings that the Coalition would now be able to ‘move on’, having put all of the nasty stuff behind them.

    However we also have Turnbull demanding that the government have an exit strategy for Afghanistan. http://www.theage.com.au/world/opposition-wants-clear-afghanistan-strategy-20090323-97ck.html

    Oh really? Just the same as when the Liberals were in government, that they had a well thought out exit strategy for Iraq.

    As above, too much baggage so that every time Turnbull makes statements such as above it brings back all those wonderful memories.

  15. Min

    And doesn’t an exit strategy indicate that we have let the terrorists won? That was the meme that Howard et al continually put to anyone who dared suggest any sort of withdrawal timetable.

  16. joni, on March 24th, 2009 at 10:30 am Said:

    “Hey hey hey reb….nothing wrong with being thick and fat!”

    Or just fat, joni. Just because we’re laying down a store for hard times and/or the revolution, at the end of it all those skinny bastards will have popped their clogs and we’ll still be standing. And …….there’ll be more chocolate and yoyo biscuits and rump steak with a generous strip of fat and loin chops and potato salad and……..(slaver). Excuse me, I have to see if the fridge is still OK.

  17. Quite right joni..just a bunch of tree hugging greenie pacifists and therefore cowards and probably gay as well 🙂

  18. MODERATOR MODE

    Excuse me. Would you mind returning to the topic at hand, which is “why is Malcolm such a loser, and what can he do about it?”

    I thank you.

  19. Jane and joni..looks like it’s dinner with the Min household tonight, pork roast (loads of crackling), crispy roast spuds. However, you do have to eat your veggies before you can have sweets.

    However, I do wish that the chubby bits would head around to the derrier region instead of sitting where I have to look at it.

  20. Reb..there is indeed a vague connection. I did mention baggage which relates to chubby and tonight’s dinner. However, point taken.

    Good point..what can Mal do about it? I would suggest that he tries to get in front – that is, start up new topics of his own instead of continually trailing in the government’s shadow. Start telling the public how he would do it better instead of leaving the hard yards to the Greens and the Independants in the Senate to put foward amendments.

  21. Min – “A lot of Mal’s problem is that he carries so much baggage from the Howard years.”

    Really? He was a minister for about 10 months.

    I suppose just like Keating carried all that baggage from the Whitlam government, where he was also briefly a minister.

  22. Ah yes Tom but Turnbull was one of Howard’s favoured few made a minister at rapid pace and also loud cheering when he came up with alternative economic strategies. Without doubt with approval from Howard and also likely as a rude finger gesture Howard vs Costello.

    I personally had high hopes for Turnbull and am not happy with his continual fluffing around when he should be making strong, forthright decisions.

  23. “but Turnbull was one of Howard’s favoured few made a minister at rapid pace”

    Of course, Paul Keating had to wait so long (until almost old age) before he was made a minister, at about 30.

    Keating was never the beneficiary of political patronage either. No, no never.

  24. Clearly Turnbull has a problem. While it is inevitable that Rudd’s popularity will eventually come down to earth (no politician can defy gravity forever), the decline seems some way off. It will take time and time is not on Turnbull’s side.

    Moreover he can’t unite his troops because the Overshadow sits smirking on the backbench keeping alive the hope that the loss of the election is but a dream.

    As Tip often says, but only to himself:

    I think not what I can do for the Liberal Party, but what the Liberal Party can do for me. But only when I’m good and ready. After all, we Liberals are all about the individual.

  25. Tom..but Keating followed on from Hawke, not from Whitlam, with Hawke being (prior to Rudd) Australia’s most popular Prime Minister.

    Whereas Turnbull in Opposition follows on from Howard who not only lost government but lost his own seat.

  26. Turnbull’s problem is his impatience. He wanted the leadership there and then, rather than waiting for the best time. This premature stint might just terminally damage his leadership credentials.

    He’s the sort of bloke that’d by a Grange hermitage and drink it now rather than cellar and drink at its plateau.

  27. With apologies for being offtopic. For Migs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t894eGoymio

  28. So Min, let me get this straight.

    You think that Turnbull carries the baggage of Howard because he was a minister for 10 months and because he is ambitious and made some statements about economics while he was a backbencher? He succeeded Nelson as leader.

    On the other hand, Paul Keating was a briefly a minister in the Whitlam government at 31, was ambitious, wished to succeed Hayden as ALP leader, and made economic statements from the backbench (to destabilise Hawke and Willis). This is an entirely different case.

    Of course, entirely different.

  29. Miglo:

    He’s the sort of bloke that’d by a Grange hermitage and drink it now rather than cellar and drink at its plateau.

    I get the hint. How’s the hangover..?

  30. Tom, put a sock in it.

  31. Reb, the hangover sucks.

  32. Of course Miglo, if there is one thing this site needs, it is to have everyone agreeing with each other.

    Discussion and probing of the views and opinions of others makes participation soooo annoying, and boring.

  33. The question that’s at the back of my mind, is “how long will Talcum put up with the constant white anting from his own team, and his failure to gain any traction against Rudd?”

    He strikes me as the sort of guy that doesn’t tolerate fools easily, and is probably not used to being unnsuccesful. He’s loaded, financially, so why bother with all the long hours of hard work, the undermining by colleagues, and the failure to make any progress?

    At some point, me thinks, he’ll just throw in the towel..

    And then the arch angel Saint Tip will be summonsed to descend from the heavens in a chariot of gold to take his rightful place on the royal throne.

    And it shall be good.

  34. “the hangover sucks”

    Poor Migs, who asked you to drink copious quantities of red only to wash it all down with a bowl of cornflakes at midnight…?

    And you were doing so well on the wagon n’ all that too.

  35. Tom,

    You’ll have to forgive Migs. I suspect his verbal jousting skills are somewhat compromised today.

  36. Could everybody please talk it bit more quietly please. Especially you Tom. Stop shouting.

  37. What cornflakes?

  38. Tom I think that Turnbull is carrying the baggage from the Liberal team which includes Howard and especially Costello lurking in the background. Yes indeed Turnbull did succeed Nelson who was rolled because Turnbull put foward that he could do better. But he hasn’t. The evidence being the latest Newspoll.

    Or what other reason do you consider as to why Turnbull’s rating is so low?

  39. he [Turnbull] really is one of the few sane voices coming out of the Liberal Party

    Not when he calls the global economic recession a RUDD RECESSION. He just looks like a dirty liar as well as a nutter.

    (A lying Liberal leader – who would have ever thought!!)

  40. “What cornflakes”

    *ahem* see The Magazine Rack – 11.52pm.

  41. re cornflakes…. oh dear – how sloshed were you?

  42. Is the Mister 20 Percent moniker a hangover from his days as an Investment WBanker?

  43. I don’t remember eating cornflakes. But that will explain all the stains on my keyboard.

    Maybe I pushed the limits last night.

  44. I believe Turnbull has projected himself as ‘scatty’ to the public due to his indecision or backflips just on about every government policy thus far…lacking on conviction somewhat which makes him easy pickings for the government.

    He made his run too soon… due to his backstabbing, Nelson’s position was made untenable so he called the spill.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot and the knives are swinging in Turnbull’s direction and he has taken the position of caretaker in certain peoples eyes.

    There are people from within that are attempting to sway Nelson’s decision to retire from politics but he is fairly determined to leave on his terms but time will tell on that.

    There are interesting happenings in that camp at the moment and there are people tiring of Costello’s attitude and destabilising factor to a point that I would find it hard to grasp that either Turnbull or Costello will be fighting the next election as leader!

    There is more blood yet to be spilled.

    I will be watching the possible ascension of the Members for Cook and Flinders in the next three years…just a hunch, mind you…

  45. Maybe they should elect George Brandis as leader?

    He’s got “the right” Liberal attitude – utter contempt for just about everyone – full of hatred and vile invective, rude, arrogant, full of himself. A complete w@nker really. Perfect for the role if you ask me.

    And he’s ugly too.

  46. I may have to retire to my tea garden.

    I know, I know – stay on topic.

    But if the boss can’t get me to do any work today how do you guys expect to keep me on topic.

    I hereby decree that Blogocrats suffering from a hangover can post wherever they like.

    Moderator: so nothing changes then.

  47. I think Turnbull showed good credentials when he was in partnership with Neville Wran and Nick Whitlam. I enjoyed it when he rolled the Thatcher government over their efforts to suppress the “Spycatcher” publication.

    I thought he did a good job as leader of the Republican movement.

    I think he was even an entertaining contributor to the Nation Review.

    And although he represents a party I’ve never voted for, I’d prefer to see him succeed rather than fail. He is simply leading an unpopular political party.

  48. And YAY for Tom.

    He is simply leading an unpopular political party.

    Yes agreed, excellent job re the Republican movement plus had (sadly past tense) some excellent things to add re the economy.

    And sooo, he needs to get back as previously stated to doing what he is good at rather than making statements about ‘exit strategies’ which only brings to mind Howard & Iraq.

  49. I Imagine that now Obama has proven himself not to be a Socialist and delivered news courtesy of Mr. Geithner that lending will start flowing again that has led to fireworks and bulls rampaging on Wall Street…the most cheery Geithner will assist our competent PM Rudd in convincing Obama & the stunned as a mullet Congress that China is now full of eager beaver capitalists prepared to do more hearty business provided they can keep FACE and get a proper seat at the table…

    and about bleedin’ time one would think considering their populations size & efforts to keep us all rolling in gadgets and other goodies. Let’s face it, it’s gotta be better than another HOT WAR.

    Hands all round the table might go down nicely w/ a shell shocked, war worn public.

    And leave Ruddy’s popularity bubbling quite nicely.

    For Malcolm Turnbull:

    There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
    (Carl Jung)

    More content is the LIGHT bringer.
    N’

  50. Bloody Hell Nasking.

    Sometimes you just blow me away with your profound insights.

    A hot war (with China), I fear is exactly where the US is heading if it fails to prop up the value of the US dollar.

    And printing cash isn’t exactly the time-honoured way to achieve that.

    Mind you the most recent ‘signals’ seem to be encouraging…

  51. You mean N’ that our wordy, nerdy lacking in charism PM got it right and that you don’t feel one bit sorry for Turnbull?

    From the Oz (I don’t think we have it quoted..apologies if I’m repeating).

    US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has endorsed Kevin Rudd as being “A-plus” on issues relating to the global recession in Washington this morning.

    “If we did what he advised we’d all be in a better place,” said Mr Geithner, who is driving the US response to the recession.

  52. A hot war (with China), I fear is exactly where the US is heading if it fails to prop up the value of the US dollar.

    And printing cash isn’t exactly the time-honoured way to achieve that.~Reb

    Well waddya know, Reb, the Chinese agree with you:

    “China’s central bank on Monday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.

    […]

    ‘This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money,’ said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC.”

    […]

    So do I.

  53. Press Release just in from the office of Macolm Turnbull:

    “If we did what I advised we’d all be in a better place”

    said Malcolm.

    “It might seem like the Prime Minister’s idea, but actually it was mine, therefore I deserve the kudos and the A-plus rating. I’m a merchant banker after all..”

  54. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has endorsed Kevin Rudd as being “A-plus” on issues relating to the global recession

    Sure Min, but who’s marking the marker?

  55. Indeed Tony. And I think the idea that the Chinese are “concerned” is a very polite understatement.

  56. “And printing cash isn’t exactly the time-honoured way to achieve that.”

    reb, the movers and shakers of the black market have been printing money for years…but it requires a high-quality printer…not just your average Xerox machine
    8)

    “Sometimes you just blow me away with your profound insights.”

    I prefer to see them as acts of catharsis…tho Malcopops might refer to them as “dog’s vomit”.

    As for the HOT WAR comment…I give credit to Wolf Blitzer for his comment:

    “Better a cold war than a hot one”.

    Tho he woulda got the idea from someone else who woulda got it from someone else who woulda got it from some Viking who hated the summer heat of far off lands due to fungal outbreaks in the nether regions.

    “Mind you the most recent ’signals’ seem to be encouraging…”

    Yes, my bear mates are preparing for hibernation…but the mood is still caffeine driven. And too much of the speedy stuff and no common-sense & too little caution by those too oft enablers of robber barons in the markets might lead to a bunch of sleepless grumpy bears if they aren’t careful.

    Brian Eno – Just Another Day

    Now where’s that TORTOISE mate of mine?…he’s got a good long life…lucky bugger…
    N’

  57. “You mean N’ that our wordy, nerdy lacking in charism PM got it right and that you don’t feel one bit sorry for Turnbull?”

    Min, I have my moments of sympathy for the Lord of Wentworth, he has the panicked look of a beast caught in the headlights sometimes…and makes loud, thunderous noises that even scare the banshees on the backbench away…must be a lonely life…

    however, I’m sure that being part of a special alumni helps keep Malcolm motivated and brings on that golden, warm feeling everytime he doesn’t make political inroads:

    Goldman Sachs Foundation

    Alumni
    Henry H. Fowler – 58th United States Secretary of the Treasury (1965-1969)
    Robert Rubin – Former United States Treasury Secretary, ex-Chairman of Citigroup.
    Henry Paulson – Former United States Treasury Secretary.
    Edward Lampert- Hedge Fund Manager of ESL Investments. Brought K-Mart out of Bankruptcy in 2003.
    Joshua Bolten – former White House Chief of Staff
    Erin Burnett – CNBC Host
    Jon Corzine – Governor of the State of New Jersey.
    Michael Cohrs – Head of Global Banking at Deutsche Bank
    Emanuel Derman – Author of My Life as a Quant and co-developer of the Black-Derman-Toy model.
    Jim Cramer – founder of TheStreet.com, best selling author, and host of Mad Money on CNBC
    Ashwin Navin – President and co-founder of BitTorrent, Inc.
    Abby Joseph Cohen – Perma-bull market forecaster formerly of Drexel Burnham Lambert
    George Herbert Walker IV – member of the Bush family and current managing director at Neuberger Berman
    Robert Zoellick – United States Trade Representative (2001-2005), Deputy Secretary of State (2005-2006), World Bank President.
    Mark Carney – Current Governor of the Bank of Canada
    Michael D. Fascitelli- President & Trustee of Vornado Realty Trust.
    Neel Kashkari – Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability
    Charlie Haas – Wrestler, who is working for World Wrestling Entertainment.

    Malcolm Turnbull – Australian politician, currently the federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia.

    John Thain – former Chairman and CEO, Merrill Lynch, and former chairman of the NYSE.
    Robert Steel – Chairman and President, Wachovia.
    Reuben Jeffery III, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs (2007-)
    (Wiki pedia)

    ———–
    Some have the midas touch:

    Goldfinger

    N’

  58. Re A+ for Rudd.

    I’m sure that the USA will be rolling out their very own home insulation program.

    And judging by some of the commentary the reduction in carbon emission (which many will recall as being the significant justification), looks more like hot air.

  59. Min, on March 24th, 2009 at 12:43 pm Said:

    “Jane and joni..looks like it’s dinner with the Min household tonight, pork roast (loads of crackling), crispy roast spuds. However, you do have to eat your veggies before you can have sweets.

    However, I do wish that the chubby bits would head around to the derrier region instead of sitting where I have to look at it.”

    Yum! What time’s dinner, Min? I’ll even bring my own china and cutlery and “shudder”, wash the dishes and I’ll very happily eat my vegies.

    Unfortunately my chubby bits are wide-spread and utterly refuse to be banished to a non-visible place.

  60. reb, on November 30th, 1999 at 12:00 am Said: …….

    Wow – what’s time travel like reb? 8)

  61. bacchus,

    1999…? I don’t know what’s going on…!!

    I seem to be vanishing and reappearing, and then vanishing again…

    help meeeee…..!! help meeee…….!!!

  62. I told you not to buy those cheap flux capacitors reb!

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