Continuing my analysis of the Right of Australian politics, my first op-ed for The Guardian’s new Australian website is up today, and can be found here.
The lack of enthusiasm for the conservatives was borne out in a remarkable poll of 24 marginal seats in March. It found a two-party preferred voting intention of 59.4% for the Coalition, but at the same time only 43% said they wanted an LNP government! Abbott’s tenuous position was also revealed in last weekend’s Galaxy and Nielsen polls, which predicted a massive swing to Labor if Kevin Rudd was reinstalled.
How are these findings to be understood? It is obvious that the ALP is suffering a deep crisis of its social base, organisation, internal power structures and ideology. But in fact this is just part of a crisis of the wider political establishment, which leaves all politicians vulnerable to sudden electoral shifts as voters seek to punish them for being out of touch and beholden to vested interests.