Monday, May 30, 2022

Not-A-Poll Reset 4 For 2022: Morrison Defeated

With the announcement that Peter Dutton has been elected unopposed as Opposition Leader, it's time to reset this site's Not-A-Poll for the next leader to depart.  Scott Morrison resigned as Prime Minister after his government was defeated.  The defeat was probably a fairly narrow one in 2PP terms, but in seat share terms it was a disaster, with the Coalition crashing to its worst seat share in the history of the Liberal Party (very slightly worse than 1946 and 1983).  

Morrison's "miracle" win in 2019 gave him a reputation as a great marketer but the 2022 election showed both that this wasn't the case and that he had made himself and his party far less marketable.  Such was the extent of this that even a relatively gaffe-riddled campaign by Anthony Albanese and Labor's difficulties in inspiring primary voting enthusiasm from the left couldn't save him (in part because the gaffes were not about anything that voters cared about).  Morrison joins Andrew Fisher, Joseph Cook, Robert Menzies, Ben Chifley, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd as leaders who won their first elections as leaders but lost their second. Keating is the most similar since he also took office as PM mid-term through a leadership contest (albeit a more straightforward one) and won an apparently unlikely victory, before being dumped in round two.  Recent PMs who have lost have tended to leave politics soon into their terms; at this stage Morrison intends to stick around but that may not be so welcome in his party.

Anthony Albanese joins Fisher, Cook, Joseph Lyons, Malcolm Fraser sort-of but technically not, Bob Hawke and Rudd as winners from Opposition at their first election as party leader.  But Albanese is the first of these to have served a whole term as Opposition Leader before winning - all the rest took over the job at some stage during the term.

These are the results of the recent (very brief) voting round.


Unsurprisingly Morrison was the crowd tip as the next leader to go, after four cases in which he was heavily backed but not the first to go.  Given that Peter Dutton is likely to last a while in the absence of an obvious rival (unless things go badly enough for Labor for even Morrison to be viable again), it will be interesting to see who voters in this round tip and whether they will be correct.  Only Daniel Andrews (this November) and Dominic Perrottet (next March) have elections coming up anytime soon.  Andrews no longer has the tailwind of a Liberal federal government, which could make the Victorian election more interesting, while Perrottet is no longer disadvantaged by Canberra factors but is the fourth leader of a government that will be 12 years old.  No one else currently looks at risk of being ousted, so the most likely scenario for other leaders would be retirement. 

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