Where's sense in gittin' sour?

Inspired by CJ Dennis, Peter Costello has announced that he won’t contest the leadership. I guess it’s Turnbull for opposition leader, then. When it resumes, parliament should be nothing if not entertaining.

Update: Sportingbet has opened a market in who will be the next Liberal Party leader. Current odds:

Malcolm Turnbull 1.55    
Tony Abbott 3.50    
Brendan Nelson 4.50    
Joe Hockey 6.50    
Julie Bishop 8.50    
Any Other 9.00
Dana Vale 15.00    

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16 Responses to Where's sense in gittin' sour?

  1. Hans says:

    Will the betting odds correctly predict the Liberal leadership contest, as they did the election?
    Apparently Brendan Nelson has started off favourite. AAP story:

    Fed: Centrebet says party insiders tipping Nelson for leadership Poll07 Libs Nelson
    SYDNEY, Nov 25 AAP – Former defence minister Brendan Nelson is being tipped by Liberal Party insiders as the next leader of the opposition, one of Australia’s biggest bookmakers says.
    Neil Evans, analyst and media chief with Centrebet, said he had today been told by “a well placed and reliable Liberal party source” that Mr Nelson would be asked to take on the leadership.
    “He told me that Brendan Nelson has the numbers, fits the image best and has the safest seat of all the potential leaders,” Mr Evans said.
    Other obvious candidates for the leadership after heir apparent Peter Costello’s shock announcement that he will not stand include outgoing ministers Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and former leader Alexander Downer.
    But Mr Evans said the only other person in the picture was Mr Downer, whom he said “wants the job but still doesn’t know that he hasn’t got the numbers.”
    “Malcolm Turnbull was not mentioned,” he said.
    Mr Evans quoted the source as saying the feeling from inside the party before the election was that “Costello has the biggest ego in the world, and Turnbull may have shot himself in the head”.
    Mr Evans said the reliability of his source was beyond question.
    “He told me in February that election would be middle or late November, but probably November 17,” he said.
    “He was one week out.
    “He also told me at 5pm yesterday that Labor would win by more than the three to seven seats we were predicting.
    “He predicted the huge slide in Queensland, where we watched seats fall to candidates who had not even been favoured.”
    Mr Evans said the source had told him former prime minister John Howard had “desperately” wanted to leave politics four months ago.
    “He was coaxed to stay on board, while the feeling for the past few months has been that Costello had alienated himself from the core constituency of Liberal voters,” Mr Evans said.
    He said the source told him Mr Costello had been found to have been particularly unpopular with with older voters – those in the
    35-60 age group.
    He said 80 Labor candidates had won their seats at yesterday’s election after starting favourite with Centrebet.
    “The shortest priced favourite to end up being beaten looks like being John Howard at $1.50,” Mr Evans said.

  2. Leon says:

    Beyond any policy considerations, Nelson is incredibly uncharismatic and bland, and has a terrible hairstyle. I think he would make an awful opposition leader. Turnbull or Hockey all the way.

  3. It has to be Turnbull, despite his unsafe seat.

  4. Hans says:

    Will they put Turnbull straight in though? I assumed a fall guy would get the first term in opposition (Nelson would be perfect for the role — just about credible but not really any hope) while Turnbull dazzled the nation as shadow treasurer. But to get shadow treasurer, Turnbull needs to contest the leadership. Or is this ascribing overly complicated motivations?

  5. Patrick says:

    It has to be Turnbull, despite his unsafe seat.

    He’s making it pretty safe.

    And he is easily the most impressive of them all. Also, none of them have been Treasurer, which is an important qualification, but then again none of them have been chairman of Goldman in Australia, which probably requires a lot more financial smarts than Treasurer!

  6. Patrick says:

    Any Other 9.00

    I guess they may as well price it so as to try and lure in a few…?

  7. Guy says:

    Turnbull is by far the best option. But are there too many constitutional monarchists in the Lib caucus to accept a republican as leader?

  8. Tony Hughes says:

    They’ll shoehorn Ruddock out of Berowra and give that seat to Turnbull (the leader) at the next election.

    Mark my words.

  9. Mitch says:

    I don’t think Turnbull’s republican agenda will prevent him from getting the leadership since there’s more chance of it happening under Labor anyway.

    Something no-one seems to be picking up on is that without Howard or Costello the Liberal Party’s support base has shrunk massively. This won’t be temporary. The only thing the Liberal’s have left to claim as uniquely Liberal anymore (thanks to Rudd’s huge shift right) is their unpopular industrial relations ideas. I personally like the IR laws. I’m on an AWA and doing rather well on it. I voted Liberal in this election because I prefer people like Peter Costello and Mal Brough- people there to get the job done whether it’s popular or not– over Kevin Rudd. I don’t think Turnbull or anyone else remaining will appeal across party lines the way Costello, Brough and Howard all did.

    The only real feasible option now is for the growth of a new not-so-religiously-based minor party to fill the void at the right of politics the way the Green’s have at the left. The rise of the Green’s has allowed Labor to move to the centre without losing the votes it needs to win office (since all Green’s preferences generally go to Labor. They’ve generally taken on board all the less popular left wing policies Labor’s trying to distance itself from politically but basically still believes in.

    A new right wing party could do likewise for the Coalition’s less popular policies like IR and Immigration. They could also, being new, support things like action on climate change and be taken more credibly than the Liberals ever will.

  10. Hans says:

    Surely Turnbull, for all his skills and charisma, lacks the common touch?

    I notice Alex Hawke is now a federal parliamentarian. If this is the future of the Liberal Party, they will be a fringe party themselves before long.

  11. Andrew Leigh says:

    I heard a rumour that Turnbull was fired as Goldman CEO. Can anyone confirm or deny?

  12. Andrew Leigh says:

    A propos of nothing, the Liberal Party leadership is also available via ebay.

  13. Patrick says:

    Andrew, removed already.

    Surely Turnbull, for all his skills and charisma, lacks the common touch

    Since when has anyone cared? Keating, Menzies, there have been a few haven’t there? Even Rudd hardly leaps out at you for his ‘common touch’!

  14. EconoMan says:

    $20 bucks of mine @ $4.80 says it’s Nelson. I’m not sure he’ll get it, but I’m damn sure I was getting value. Cf. Turnbull who was well and truly underpriced at $1.55.

    My knowledge of news reports / gossip is that Nelson is a strong worker of the backroom, whereas Turnbull still has plenty to learn about the internal side of being a politician. I also don’t think he should really want it! (www.mumble.com.au)

    Seems it’s pretty much down to a 3 horse race, and surely even the Libs aren’t so stupid as to pick Abbott?

  15. Tanya says:

    Yahoo! It’s Nelson.

    Oh, the amusement to come!

    With Bishop as Deputy. What on Earth is she thinking?!

  16. Hans says:

    Patrick, you may or may not be right about the common touch. Howard apparently had it as an asset, but perhaps that doesn’t make it compulsory.. it’s just that Rudd, whether he had it or not, sort of aspired to it, as did Latham and Beazley… whereas there’s not even any pretence of it with Turnbull… as there wasn’t with Keating… and look what happened to him.

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