KEY Liberal powerbrokers who backed Brendan Nelson as Opposition Leader have switched their allegiance to Malcolm Turnbull.
The shift, combined with a general sense of despair at Dr Nelson’s recent performance, means a leadership spill is likely within months.
Liberal Party insiders had not expected a leadership challenge to Dr Nelson until at least the end of this year. But many of his colleagues have concluded they have to get rid of him sooner rather than later.
The consensus is firming that Mr Turnbull, the party’s ambitious Treasury spokesman, will replace him in the next month or two.
I am sure that You can hear the cries of joy from the left that the Liberal Party may be considering pulling the pin on Brendan Nelson’s leadership sooner rather than later. It may well be a case of “careful what you wish for ” though, because Malcom Turnbull is likely to be more of a real prospect that Brendan has been thus far.
I made no secret of the fact that i personally preferred Turnbull for the Job but in the wake of such a disheartening loss at the last election it was always going to be a poisoned chalice to take on the leadership of the party, and It was also always going to be a very big ask to expect any leader to hit the ground running and immediately win the hearts and minds of the voting public. We conservatives should be prepared to acknowledge that Nelson has taken the inevitable triumphalist flak that was always going to be thrown by The disciples of Brother Number One and their fellow travellers. I suspect Nelson’s poor ratings actually have a lot to do with the fact that we have had a very long real campaign, for the whole year prior to the last election (in particular from the unions and other pressure groups) which has given many people a big case of “political compassion fatigue”. Put simply a lot of people just want to sit back and not think about politics for a while, no body I know wants to hear any kind of electioneering for quite a while.
I expect that there will be a change in leadership of the opposition sooner rather than later and I also expect that Turnbull could be a formidable leader of the opposition, but anyone taking on that mantle has to run the race as a marathon and not as a sprint because there is the best part of three years before we go to the polls again and that is a very long time in politics.