Could News Ltd be any more gushing in its efforts to portray the Liberal Party retaining Bradfield and Higgins on Saturday as some kind of a ringing endorsement of Tony Abbott?
Liberal leadership gamble on Tony Abbott pays off in polls
Oh, come off it. The retention of a sixty year old safe seat somehow due to the new leader?
Mark Latham Tony Abbott is going to win in 2004 2010. In the week since his accession, things look good. Finally, a strong leader ready to take the fight to that nasty John Howard Kevin Rudd!
Only an extreme optimist would’ve thought the progressive Greens’ second federal lower house seat victory in history would be in a long-standing safe conservative seat – since its formation in 1949, it’s been held exclusively by Liberal Party members and Prime Ministers. And it’s not surprising that the Greens vote didn’t equal the ALP plus Greens vote at the last election; there are just as many ALP voters who the party has trained to hate the Greens as there are wealthy conservative voters who’d consider voting against self-interest and supporting a progressive party.
So, sure – Abbott and the conservatives dodged the most crippling bullet imaginable, losing their safest seats whilst in the middle of the new leader’s honeymoon period. They’re undoubtedly relieved that their most reliable voters didn’t abandon the party as soon as he took over – but they’re hardly the middle of the roaders they should be most worried about Abbott driving away.
It’s a bit early for the Liberals to be breaking out the champagne.
UPDATE: Suggests Bernard Keane, via twitter:
Take note of all the commentators who are declaring today that the Libs have got it right on Abbott, and compare in six months.
Tobias has a post over at Pure Poison asking commenters to post links and quotations of over-enthusiasm by the punditocracy for future amusement.