Tony’s Liberal bedrock in a wobbly state
The stuffing is coming out of that plush circle of Liberal governments which has allowed Tony Abbott to sit comfortably as he pummels Julia Gillard.
The federal Opposition has been aided by the fact the ALP has struggled on so many state-based fronts the party everywhere is suffering from a blanket odium which is adding to the disapproval of the Gillard government.
However, there are stark signs that Liberal and Coalition governments in the state and territories are not exactly smoothly-run machines themselves.
Tony Abbott and his federal colleagues will have to deal with the unsettling reality of Liberal administrations losing electoral support and building records for instability as we proceed to September 14.
The government of Victoria is now wobbling on an edge following the resignation of back bencher Geoff Shaw from the Liberal Party. He reportedly has lost confidence in Premier Ted Baillieu, Mr Abbott’s friend.
In the Northern Territory, Country Liberal Party Chief Minister Terry Mills could lose his job after a February by-election which saw his Government suffer from a Labor rebound, and power price rises which angered many voters. Moves against him are gaining force.
In Queensland the Campbell Newman government has upset many voters and workers delivering front-line public services with a range of spending cuts.
Plus there was this week’s release of a brutal official audit of the state’s finances which, to the surprise of some voters, the Premier had not bothered to read.
It’s not all bad news in Liberal bulletins. West Australia’s Colin Barnett will be easily returned as Premier; NSW Liberals have just ended a painful and draining round of internal battles and have a singularly unpopular Labor opposition to make them look good.
However, Tony Abbott now does not have the luxury of an uncontested assertion that Liberal government means stable government.
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