The Age reports that “Liberal MPs and supporters are reading the signs of growing disunity within the Turnbull government as Mr Abbott and other malcontents continue to speak out, exclusive ReachTel polling conducted for the Australian Institute, has found most voters in the 65 per cent Liberal electorate believe the ex-PM’s time has passed.”
Tony Abbott is a lonely figure on the backbench (Photo: Alex Ellinghausen)
The finding in itself is not remarkable. There is only a very small number of people, mostly a small cabal close to Abbott in Canberra, that thinks he should stay on. This group thinks he should stay on to have another tilt of the leadership.
What is remarkable about this poll is that it was done at all.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has steadfastly avoided criticising Tony Abbott’s outspoken opposition to a number of government policies. However, what has now begun is an insidious campaign to increase his political isolation and discredit his record.
This poll is part of that process and it will continue until Abbott resigned from Parliament.