News National Turnbull vs Abbott: what voters say about their power struggle

Turnbull vs Abbott: what voters say about their power struggle

tony abbott and malcolm turnbull
The former PM says his successor should be ready to explain a 30th failed Newspoll. Photo: AAP
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The infighting between Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull is a hot topic among Australian voters who are disappointed that another federal government is being consumed by an internal power struggle.

In the The New Daily Pulse survey conducted this week, hundreds of respondents left comments about the performance of the Turnbull government.

Many said that Mr Abbott was helping to get the ALP elected at the next election and drew direct links between his behaviour and that of Kevin Rudd as he sought to destabilise Julia Gillard.

There was also concern about the rise of Peter Dutton and the new national security super-ministry, while many expressed concerns about Mr Turnbull’s leadership.

Another key theme was dissatisfaction with politicians of all stripes, and MPs who put their own interests ahead of the electorate’s were singled out for strong criticism.

Here, we publish a selection of the comments which provide an insight into the current mood of Australia voters.

Readers who are critical of Tony Abbott say:

  • “Tony Abbott was a major destructive and disruptive force of the Labor governments of Rudd and Gillard; he showed no positive leadership or vision for the country as Prime Minister. His only operating model is to fight, oppose and bully. It’s time he is starved of the oxygen he so desperately craves so that the country can face the issues that are really important.”
  • “The Liberals are destroying themselves just like Labor did 5 years ago. Shame about Australia & its people!”
  • “The current Australian political spectrum is a mess. Neither of the centrist parties seems to truly stand for anything and instead focus their efforts on what they feel will garner votes … There is mass political disillusionment which is especially prominent in the Australian youth and something has to change.”
  • “Abbott is poison. Turnbull must firstly remain pragmatic in advancing Australia’s economic and social interests. The Liberal Party is a broad church and he should be more about getting the job done than being totally constrained by ideology.”
  • “Abbott’s infantile vengeance is the best thing that’s happened in Australian politics since the LNP came into government. Hopefully the voters will turf them out at the next election.”
  • “United you stand, divided we fall. Tony Abbott is actively assisting the election of the Labor Party at the next federal election.”

Readers who are critical of Malcolm Turnbull say:

  • “I personally believe that Mr Abbott’s public statements are at least keeping the current government in the spotlight with their decisions. That thorn in the side is keeping the “bastards” honest!!! Good or bad he highlights issues.”
  • “When I think about how excited I was when Malcolm Turnbull successfully challenged for the leadership of the Liberal Party, I am embarrassed at my naivety. At 66, I should know better than to trust the lies a smooth operator spouts. To paraphrase Shakespeare, a man may smile and smile but still be a villain’.”

Readers who are unhappy about the state of politics say:

  • “A pox on all their houses. I had cleverer chooks in my henhouse than most of the politicians in Canberra.”
  • “The Australian people are tired of self-serving Politicians of ALL persuasions. There needs to be less “playing politics” and more true bipartisanship that will benefit the greatest majority of Australians and not just the ‘select few’.”
  • “I am very concerned that the activities of the ALP in 2010 and of the Liberal Party now are contributing to the disaffection of some members of the public with all politicians, leading them to vote for fringe parties. These parties / groups call for “change” but are in reality likely to reduce democratic freedoms that we will all miss if they are lost.”
  • “I (together with most of my friends) am heartily tired of negative, sniping politics. Our leaders on both sides simply play the man and not the ball. We want them advocating policies and programs not running down their opposite number.As a result politicians have displaced used car salesmen at the bottom of the trust stakes.”
  • “I am sick of hearing about the back biting and factions. The elected should be putting more effort into representing their electorate than trying to stay in power no matter what.”
  • “The government needs to stop being concerned about the polls or being re-elected next term and instead focus on governing the country. It needs to look ten, twenty years into the future, not just four.”
  • “Turnbull v Abbott – Neither are good leaders and currently the country is rudderless with this continual disagreements. Some where, SOMEONE must get this country going forward again.”

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