Battleground

Why the Liberal Party Shirtfronted Tony Abbott

Wayne Errington, Peter van Onselen
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Battleground
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Battleground

Published

18 November 2015

ISBN

9780522869729

Ebook File Size

1.5MB

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Battleground

Why the Liberal Party Shirtfronted Tony Abbott

Wayne Errington, Peter van Onselen
Battleground chronicles the paradox of the Abbott prime ministership: the virtues of loyalty when pragmatism was required; strong social values at odds with community attitudes; and honesty when tactics and strategy were essential. All would bring him undone.
Tony Abbott came to office lauded as the most effective leader of the opposition since Whitlam, but the signs of an imperfect transition to the prime ministership would soon emerge. Why did Abbott fail to grow into the job to which he had aspired for decades? Backbenchers complained about the leader's office, the lack of access, front benchers leaked about cabinet processes to the media. His long apprenticeship in religion, journalism and political life prepared him for neither the mundane business of people management nor the commanding heights of national leadership. Public goodwill evaporated after a tough first budget the government failed to explain. Inside the Liberal party individual ambitions and a succession of poor polls produced increasing concern that the next election was lost. As a result, the horse named self-interest won yet again.
Tony Abbott came to office lauded as the most effective leader of the opposition since Whitlam, but the signs of an imperfect transition to the prime ministership would soon emerge. Why did Abbott fail to grow into the job to which he had aspired for decades? Backbenchers complained about the leader's office, the lack of access, front benchers leaked about cabinet processes to the media. His long apprenticeship in religion, journalism and political life prepared him for neither the mundane business of people management nor the commanding heights of national leadership. Public goodwill evaporated after a tough first budget the government failed to explain. Inside the Liberal party individual ambitions and a succession of poor polls produced increasing concern that the next election was lost. As a result, the horse named self-interest won yet again.

Peter van Onselen

Peter van Onselen

Dr Peter van Onselen is a Contributing Editor at The Australian and presenter at Sky News. He has frequently appeared in the media as a political commentator, panellist, contributing editor, host and print journalist. A co-author of the bestseller John Winston Howard: The Definitive Biography and Battleground, he was recently appointed Winthrop Professor and Foundation Chair of Journalism at the University of Western Australia.

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Wayne Errington

Wayne Errington

Wayne Errington is Lecturer in Political Science at the Australian National University. He has written extensively about Australian politics in newspaper opinion pages across the country: The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times.

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