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Scott Morrison's Honeymoon Period

As we know the billionaire inspired blood-letting by the terminally suicidal Liberal Party of Australia surprisingly produced Scott Morrison as Prime Minister. Usually after such an event there is a "honeymoon" period, according to most psephology. After thirty eight successive opinion poll losses in Newspoll, the usual expectation would be that there would at least a short flurry of support for the incoming prime ministers. Australians usually are a bit like that; "give the new guy a fair go".

Instead, the opinion polls have gone entirely in the other direction. Immediately after the the leadership spill Newspoll showed Labor leading 56-44 on two-party-preferred and a couple of days later, Essential Research followed up with 55-45. Two week's later a similar story emerged with Newspoll showing the same result as before, and Essential getting quite close. Only Ipsos has offered anything vaguely hopeful for the new Prime Minister and even that is a TPP drubbing of 53-47.

Herein however lies the problem. The hard right of the Liberal Party - which certainly includes Scott Morrison - sincerely believes that the problems confronting the Liberal Party was because the more centrist Malcolm Turnbull was too left-wing. They have, of course, completely forgotten how the last leader of their persuasion, Tony Abbott, was for years consistently losing c55-45 before he was replaced by Turnbull - and that replacement did result in a honeymoon period for the new Prime Minister. Despite the deepest desires of the hard right, Abbott's victory over Kevin Rudd was not an endorsement of his policies but rather a rejection of a a Labor Party which showed some acumen in governing the country, but no ability to govern itself. They have, apparently, learned that lesson - Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek has remained a stable pair througout the Coalition's rule, representing the right and left factions of the ALP, and Victoria and New South Wales respectively (state-based pariochialism still matters in Australia).

So here's the kicker; this is Scott Morrison's honeymoon period. This is as good as it will get for him, because the electorate are coming after him and his party with cricket bats. Malcolm Turnbull wasn't despised for his weak liberalism, but because he represented the big-end of town and had no understanding of the increasing number of Australian's who are doing it hard and harder. Scott Morrison is in fact worse. Not only does he represent the wealthy, endorsing remarkable comments such as the claim that the drought forcing "the bottom ten percent" of farmers to the wall is a good thing, but he also has happy-clappy proposals to attempt to protect religious bigots from anti-discrimination laws. This will have little traction among people whose view of increasing the power of institutional religion is justifiably cynical and irreverent at best. The reality is that Australians are ready for a society which is more egalitarian and more secular. The fact that both of these components are antithetical to an edicts of a "prosperity theocracy" means that that the new Prime Minister is even more out-of-touch than his predecessor - and will be treated accordingly.

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