Newspoll’s “I Don’t” On Gay Marriage As Voters Divorce Shorten

AFTER A WEEK in which Bill Shorten’s shenanigans on gay marriage have taken centre stage, first opinion polling suggests voters have seen right through the opposition “leader’s” cynical attempt to deflect attention from his crumbling position and a reasonably popular federal budget, and to arrogate to himself any “glory” deriving from a renewed focus on gay marriage. The backfiring move has damaged his — and his party’s — standing.

I am not in the slightest bit surprised that what was clearly intended as a knockout blow by the Shorten camp (or at least, as a leveller to insulate itself from leadership problems) has spectacularly rebounded on the Labor “leader,” with both his own standing and that of the ALP taking a hit in the latest Newspoll, published in The Australian today.

This morning’s post — for reasons regular readers are now well familiar with — is a brief one, on the run again as I am; but if I was standing in Shorten’s shoes today, I’d be more than a little concerned that the mutterers, whose voices have already been audible whenever Tanya Plibersek passes by, are still muttering within Labor Party circles.

First things first: readers can access the tabulated findings from Newspoll here, and whilst they show Labor retaining enough support after preferences to win an election — for now — it’s reached the point where such an outcome would be a damned close-run thing if these numbers were replicated at an election, and even these findings potentially mask further downside for the opposition and for Shorten himself.

But having talked during the week about the wisdom or otherwise of Bill Shorten’s decision to “pull the trigger” on gay marriage, as some sycophants in the press saw fit to describe it, it’s already becoming clear that rather than firing bullseyes, all Shorten has managed to do is to shoot himself in the foot.

This Newspoll finds that as preferred Prime Minister, the single-point lead re-established by Tony Abbott after trailing Shorten for months has quadrupled; it also finds that Shorten is now less popular than Tony Abbott is, fulfilling a prediction of mine that probably would have come to pass far sooner were it not for the indecent and politically idiotic budget gifted to Labor by Treasurer Joe Hockey a year ago.

Shorten’s approval rating in this survey (32%) now lags Abbott’s by six points; and whilst more respondents (53%, up 1%) voice disapproval of Abbott than Shorten (50%, up 4%), the net approval ratings tell the real story: Abbott’s at -15%, Shorten’s at -18%. Two months ago, these numbers were -32% and -11% respectively.

And whilst the ALP primary vote has remained constant in this survey at 37%, single-point increases in both the Coalition’s and Communist Party Greens’ numbers have seen the Abbott government narrow the two-party margin in this Newspoll to 52-48: and as has been suggested elsewhere in the press this morning, were it not for the Greens picking up a little extra support in this poll — perhaps in a “honeymoon” effect for their new leader, Richard di Natale — it’s arguable an actual 51-49 split toward Labor has been slightly cushioned.

My point is that confronted by a budget that — unlike last year’s shocker — appears to have been well received and faced with a Labor caucus that exudes every indication of wanting a new leader, Shorten has gambled heavily on wrapping himself over the past week in the colours of the gay marriage debate.

He has gambled, and it seems he has lost.

These results should fortify the government’s resolve to continue to work on the so-called Leyonhjelm solution, for whether you agree with the legalisation of gay marriage or not, the libertarian crossbench Senator represents a middle path for the major parties, and an honest broker: and any resolution that derives from the Senator’s efforts is likely to be less divisive, more inclusive and better accepted than a ridiculous partisan stunt pulled on by “Bull Shittin’.”

I think Shorten’s time would be better served developing and articulating responsible policies designed to attract the support of the majority of Australian voters in the middle of the electorate, rather than engaging in petty partisan antics that may be effective at disrupting and frustrating the Coalition’s legislative program, but which ultimately add nothing to either the ALP’s political stocks or to its case for a return to office.

Shorten and his irresponsible behaviour, happily enough, also seem to be just the ticket to ensure he never achieves his cherished ambition to become Prime Minister, and for that I should be egging him on.

But at the first measurement of the electoral mood in the wake of Shorten’s attempts to use gay marriage to save his “leadership,” Newspoll’s message is unequivocal that when it comes to questions of a marriage, Shorten has become a turn-off.

Simply, the voting public is showing signs it has had just about all it can stomach of Bill Shorten’s “leadership” and, if he doesn’t fix his act quickly, his own MPs — or 48 of the 80 of them at least — might soon concur, and sign the requisite petition in those requisite numbers to make a divorce all but final, bar the decree of a vote of the rank and file ALP membership.

It is any wonder Anthony Albanese put in such an impressive showing on the ABC’s left wing gabfest #QandA last night. Plibersek, for her part, has also spent her time getting herself ready for a leadership tilt.

For Bill Shorten, the elements of a messy relationship break-up are all but aligned, it seems.

It may be too late for him to save himself, and the latest and most concerted attempt to deflect attention from his poor standing has failed.

In my view, the only pertinent question about a leadership change at the ALP is “when.” This Newspoll probably makes the answer to that sooner, rather than later.



3 thoughts on “Newspoll’s “I Don’t” On Gay Marriage As Voters Divorce Shorten

  1. Nice post….I agree totally
    It really amazes me that “ANYONE” supports “pretender” Shorten, even my wife cant bear to look at him, he is always scowling, he’s such a typical Union grubster and hopeless vacant head.
    What are his policies?…”Bring back the Boats” and “Bring back the Carbon Tax”…wait until the public hears of this, this is a man who has blocked every saving the govt has tried to make, it worked at first, the public are slow to wise up, but they are slowly becoming aware…soon the only supporters the ALP will have is GetUp drones, Corrupt Unions, the Spoonfed “Ivory Tower” ABC ( All Bloody Communists) and the dregs that dont care or know better.
    I really hope Abbott wipes the floor with him at the next election.

    But ONE THING…I really hope Abbott has a plan in place to stop the corrupt fraudulent unions doing what they did in Victoria, Queensland and tried to do in NSW.
    They are gearing up for it, and there is no excuse for Abbott to not have a plan to combat this, Grace Collier recently wrote an article about it, and you have written here too…I hope he reads these articles, gets good advice and has a plan to stop them.
    What they did is illegal and fraudulent!

    And one final thing…they need to learn how “TO FIGHT” not just trump the positives, they need to point out what the ALP is really about these days, and how dangerous they actually are!!!
    A vote for Labor is a vote for the further spread of radical Islam (so many refugees that came in under Gillard, Rudd joined ISIS years later) and its a vote for Union Dominance, and reckless spending.
    Its sooo disappointing seeing them fight elections with Queensberry rules…saying only…look we did this and we did that, its over, they need to attack Labor on all fronts, they are sitting ducks, and the LNP say nothing.
    I really hope they do this, if they can grow some serious balls then they could easily win this upcoming fed election.
    Bring back Abbott the fighter, and watch his popularity increae, the left hate him anyway…whats he got to lose?
    Shorten is braindead, Abbott should be able to do him slowly leading up, and wipe him out when the election happens.

  2. Yes. Shorten’s position on ‘marriage equality’ is as authentic as Goodes’ ‘war dance’.

  3. Pleb-in-a-sack was behind this. I bet she pushed him to present a private members bill. If it worked, she’d claim credit. Failure, and she would blame the messenger, in this case, the puppet Shorten. She’s gunnin’ for the job -it’s a clear as her husband’s police record.

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