Turnbull’s gamble may yet cost him his job

Malcolm Turnbull called an early election in order to clean out the?Senate, and that has backfired. Meanwhile there is a dead heat in other seats with 11 electorates as yet undecided. His gamble may yet have cost him his job, and cost the Liberals government.

The Australian reports:

Australia faces an anxious wait after voters delivered a possible hung parliament or bare coalition majority at the federal election. Counting of postal votes will resume on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Tony Abbott is acting the loyal soldier, but may well have a?little grin on the inside.

After a turbulent election night, Tony Abbott says today isn?t a time to speculate on what might have been had he remained prime minister, but rather a day to ?grieve for the good people who have lost their seats? and ?take stock? looking to the future.

?Obviously it was a tight result,? he said to reporters this morning. ?Obviously I?m pleased the result in Warringah was quite strong. I feel very deeply for a lot of terrific colleagues who, it seems, won?t be coming back to the parliament.?

With almost 80 per cent of the votes counted in Warringah, there was a 9 per cent swing against the former prime minister and a 3.2 per cent swing after preferences. Mr Abbott said he had ?eight anti-Abbott campaigns against me,? so it was the result he had been expecting ?under the circumstances?.

He refused to speculate on what he would have done differently had he been leader of the party. ?I did what I could to be a good local candidate, to do what I could for my colleagues in a low-key way around the country,? he said. ?(Malcolm Turnbull) certainly campaigned very strongly, and towards the end I thought he hit his straps, but yes this is a very tight result, that?s all I can say.?

Malcolm Turnbull is a narcissist and he should have won handsomely up against a little fool like Bill Shorten. The whole pretence of rolling Abbott was the belief that he couldn’t win an election. Well, it may turn out that it was Turnbull who couldn’t win an election.

As election night comes to close, it will be days before Australians know the composition of their next government.

As of 2am last night, the ABC?s Antony Green had the government and opposition each on 67 seats with five seats for minor parties and independents and 11 seats still undecided. (A majority is 76)

Malcolm Turnbull, while expressing confidence that his Coalition will retain a slim majority, is already on the back foot, defending his decision to call a double-dissolution which has resulted in an even more fractious Senate.

The Prime Minister is also seeking a police investigation into alleged dirty tricks by Labor amid faces renewed dissent among conservatives who believe Tony Abbott would have performed better.

Bill Shorten, despite having apparently lost the election, was ebullient in declaring his party ?back in business?. He has shored up his own leadership (for the time being, at least) with a slew of victories across marginal seats chiefly in Queensland and NSW.

Although the Liberals appear to have won the Victorian seat of Chisholm from Labor, they have likely lost prominent MPs including Peter Hendy in Eden-Monaro, Ewen Jones in Herbert and Andrew Nikolic in Bass.

Jamie Briggs, a former Liberal minister, has been ousted in Mayo by the Nick Xenophon team?s Rebekha Sharkie, and Senator Xenophon is poised to wield greater power in the upper-house alongside at least two One Nation Party senators (including Pauline Hanson herself) and broadcaster Derryn ?the human headline? Hinch.

The justification for the double-dissolution – the passage of new laws to enforce union discipline – seems destined for the too-hard basket for now. Counting will resume on Tuesday.

Even if he wins eventually, Turnbull may have internal problems in the Liberals.


– The Australian