Following yesterday’s Queensland election, which saw the LNP swept from power in the state, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has fronted up to reporters in Sydney to discuss his part in the result, and the future of the federal Liberal government.
Speaking to the reporters, Abbott, coming across as a far more humble individual than usual in the wake of the Queensland routing, acknowledged that he and his government have “lessons” to learn.
The main one of these, he said, is to “make sure that everything you propose is fully explained and well justified. Obviously, that’s a lesson that we are determined to learn in Canberra as well.”
“We have listened,” he said, promising that Australia will have a “more consultative and collegiate government” in 2015. He also said that he and the LNP will not “take the Senate for granted” as they have done in the past.
This comes after many in his own party have questioned his ongoing stewardship of the federal LNP. Last night, Liberal backbencher Jane Prentice went as far as to suggest that a leadership change might be imminent.
Bruce McIver, the president of Queensland’s LNP, has said that Abbott’s recent unpopularity played a role in yesterday’s “catastrophic” result, although the Prime Minister himself denies this, saying voters are smart enough to separate state and federal issues.
As to the question of whether his leadership is under threat, the Prime Minister maintained that he plans to continue doing his job “every day until the next election.”
Abbott, whose approval rating currently hovers around 27%, is set to address the National Press Club tomorrow about the state of his leadership, a speech that is being billed as a “make or break moment.”
Whatever speech Abbott is working on for tomorrow, it had better be pretty bloody arse-kicking “we will fight them on the beaches”-type stuff if he wants to quiet the rumblings of discontent from within his own party.
Needless to say, we’re fascinated to see how this one will play out.