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Liberal Party leadership - quants

While the ALP has a leader that the party and the electorate don't wants, the Liberal Party has a leader that the party, but not the electorate, wants. It's a better position to be in, but it's a long way from perfect.

When asked who they wanted as leader of the Liberal Party respondents first of all went for Malcolm Turnbull 52% then Tony Abbott 44%.

Liberal Leadership 1

This shows three things. One is that Turnbull and Abbott dominate the leadership perceptions of the government and stand completely outside the field of other potential leaders. The second is that on the left there is virtually no support for Tony Abbott (2% ALP and 1% Greens). And the third is that within the Liberal Party there is no support for anyone but Abbott.

It's this hatred of Abbott on the left that gives Turnbull the edge across the electorate, not necessarily Turnbull's own virtues; and the enthusiasm for Abbott within the Liberal Party that makes leadership discussion moot.

The hatred also makes Abbott's low overall ranking something of a virtue - he must be doing something right for his own side to be so widely loathed on the other. 

While this position is good for internal stability, it also raises the question of who the next leader of the party is after Abbott.

Second choices give some clues.

Liberal Leadership 2

Turnbull picks up a reasonable amount of additional support, but Hockey and Bishop both garner more - Hockey from the left and Bishop from the right.  Adding first and second choices together Turnbull would be the popular choice, but not necessarily the tribal choice. Turnbull's Australia-wide percentage is 72%, but inside the Liberal Party is it 40%, 7 percentage points less than Bishop.

If one assumes that Abbott will go two terms, then Turnbull and Bishop could both be viable leadership contenders, although they would both also be in their early 60s. 

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+1 #21 RE: Liberal Party leadership - quantsLorikeet 2013-12-27 14:21
I agree with Garry regarding Tony Abbott's interest in those who are least in need of community support. As the PM once stated himself: "Jesus would never have led the Liberal Party," and then quickly laughed.

The Coalition government is failing Australia, just using slightly different methods from Labor/Greens. I think both will bite the dust with a resounding thud when 2 million unemployed and underemployed Australians finally bite the bullet and rebel.