History has a sense of humour

by Matt Grudnoff

History surely has a sense of humour.

In 2010 after taking down a sitting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard went on after the next election to run a minority government. Fast forward 5 years to 2015 and Malcolm Turnbull takes down a sitting Prime Minister only to discover that he too is running a minority government.

This time the independents that keep him in power do not sit on the cross bench but instead sit on the back bench.

Last week we learned that the hard right in the Liberal party are forcing an increasingly compromised Turnbull to bend to their will or face outright revolt.

Gillard was able to deal successfully with the independents. The big question is can Turnbull do the same? Can he keep the internal crossbenchers in his party happy while also avoiding the negative rhetoric that made Abbott deeply unpopular?

From the evidence of last week that seems increasingly unlikely.

The scare campaign against negative gearing took on ‘$100 dollar steaks’ and ‘Whyalla being wiped out’ proportions. It was a jolt for many to hear what sounded like Abbott back in the position of Prime Minister. It certainly took a lot of the sheen off the popular Prime Minister.

No doubt the right of the party were very happy with Turnbull’s attack lines.

It certainly makes for a politically more interesting election year. A year that many even a month ago thought might be a sleep walk for the Prime Minister.

Can Turnbull keep the hard right faction happy while maintaining his moderate middle image that has made him so popular? If Turnbull wins the next election can he shake off the influence of the right? Or will he be faced leading another minority government?

Time will tell.

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