Canning by-election. Will it decide the fate of Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten?

In a couple of weeks there will be a by-election in Western Australia which, if the Liberals lose, could see a new Prime Minister and a new leader of the Labor Party not long after. Continued internal rumblings in the Liberal Party suggest Prime Minister Tony Abbott is just hanging on to the job and many predict he will be gone if the safe Liberal seat of Canning is lost.

What most people are not talking about is that Labor Leader Bill Shorten would almost certainly lose his position as well as he is not popular with the voters. The only thing that keeps Shorten in the job is that the voters like Tony Abbott even less and the polls have been saying this for a long time. (Click here to read more)

Background – The by-election 

There is a by-election in the federal seat of Canning in Western Australia on the 17th September 2015 because of the death Liberal MP Don Randall. There are 12 candidates and there needs to be a 11.8% swing against the Liberals for them to lose. Most polls are currently saying the swing is about 10% which makes it very close. (Click here to read more)

Tony Abbott

Below is a fair summary of Abbott’s position:

“Depending on the result, the Canning by-election might signal the beginning of a comeback for Abbott and his Government – just as Aston did for John Howard. It might mean the end of his leadership. Or it might mean nothing at all. The figures on the night will determine that. And this time if a leader falls it won’t be in the dead of night leaving an electorate stunned. It will have a basis in fact, the result of a real poll.” (Click here to read more)

Tony Abbott’s poor position has mostly been his own doing although some ministers have badly let him down. He has not been a good Prime Minister and if Labor had someone besides Bill Shorten as their leader who was half decent Abbott probably would have been replaced by now.

The Conversation website says:

“Fight is what Abbott does best – but this penchant for pugilism is his great weakness as well as a strength.”

“The prime minister, who won power two years ago on Monday, is most at home in combat, whether on the domestic campaign trail or escalating Australia’s commitment to a battle abroad.”

“A Liberal parliamentarian, highly critical of Abbott, describes his current approach to government as “doing what comes naturally – he’s trying to be a warrior. He’s relying on a small circle of advice; he’s going back to areas he’s comfortable with.””

“In February a deeply disillusioned Liberal backbench, angry at the command-and-control style of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and especially chief-of-staff Peta Credlin, fearful about the bad polls, appalled at the Prince Philip knighthood “captain’s pick” and shocked at Campbell Newman’s Queensland defeat, gave Abbott a huge scare with a spill motion that mustered a substantial 39 votes, to the 61 against.” (Click here to read more)

This instability in Australian politics obviously has short-term problems but in the longer term should be good for the country as it is sending a message to all politicians that poor performance won’t be tolerated. It is being driven to a large extent by a less tolerant and better educated public who demand more from their politicians.

How long Tony Abbott survives is unknown but the Canning by-election could have a huge bearing on it.

Bill Shorten

If Abbott is replaced by Malcolm Turnbull then the polls would probably do a huge reversal in the short-term at least and make it almost impossible for Labor’s Bill Shorten to survive. Then again maybe no one in Labor would want the leadership 12 months out from a federal election if they thought Labor were certain to lose it.

Bill shorten’s performance as leader will also be gauged to some degree depending on how well Labor does or doesn’t do in the Canning by-election. Although Shorten has a lot of problems coming his way such as a second appearance at the Trade Union Royal Commission which might decide his future irrespective of the Canning by-election. The Canning election will be Shorten’s first real test with voters as Labor leader but it is hard to gauge whether or not he will have any influence at all.

A change of leaders for both parties might be good for the country as federal politics to a large degree has seemed to stall making positive changes a lot over the last few years. Some issues seem to have been around forever and never get solved.

In a normal situation almost no one would care about the Canning by-election but it could be a real game changer depending on how the votes go and could decide the fate of a number of politicians. If Abbott goes so would quite few Ministers as well and if Shorten goes so will a number of Shadow Ministers.

It’s only a by-election but worth keeping an eye on as the federal political landscape could be totally changed in a couple of weeks depending on how the Canning by-election plays out.

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18 Comments on “Canning by-election. Will it decide the fate of Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten?”

  1. sbmacmillanBazza September 6, 2015 at 3:52 am #

    Well I think that Abbott has been okay so far. Libs are so hamstrung with the parliamentary numbers and the on-going senate problems etc etc. Tony’s front bench ministers are very supportive I believe. As for Shorten it’s all smoke and mirrors with him trying to divert his own serious problems to the back room…assisted everywhere by the lack of front page news about his serious problems by the ever-weaker MSM. Abbott just sneezes and it hits the news!. Well, I want to hear about policy, jobs, the economy and plans to right the ship heading to the future….all I read about are Labor and Union distractions trying to cover up their fraudulent and murky past. The gullible public just believe what the red side are saying all the time most of which are lies and deceit….. as published in their daily rags and pandered to by the ABC on TV and radio.

  2. The Climate Realist September 6, 2015 at 7:03 am #

    “It is being driven to a large extent by a less tolerant and better educated public who demand more from their politicians.”

    You’re not really serious about that are you Shane? Rudd, Gillard, Rudd and corrupt union man Shorten leading Labor and you think the public is better educated and less tolerant? In actual fact, the public are less educated now than ever and it is surprising to me that the Libs are even as close as they are to Labor given the non stop attacks from media peddling outright lies as truth and covering for Shorten and his cronies wherever possible. If it wasn’t for online media and a small cadre within the MSM you would assume Abbott was the devil incarnate and Shorten the second coming of Christ.

    No, if the Libs lose Canning it will be at the hands of a compliant media and the entitlement mentality that infects so much of society these days coupled with a very poor media strategy from the Libs, not because the people of Canning have made a wise choice..

    • Shane Dowling September 6, 2015 at 8:35 am #

      You comment contradicts yourself because you say “the public are less educated now than ever” and then go on to say “If it wasn’t for online media”. Which is my point. Because of online media the public are better educated then they might otherwise be.

  3. Alistair September 6, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    What are the bookie’s saying ?.

  4. Barry J September 6, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    The two leaders are interesting, yet more interesting is the MSM’s take on them.
    Abbott was educated in Sydney by the Jesuits, Shorten was educated in Melbourne by the Jesuits. One went on to become a Rhodes Scholar the other an alleged crooked lawyer.
    The MSM hate on of them because he is Catholic and educated by the strict Jesuits and did not (apparently) earn his scholarship, therefore I presume they love the other Jesuit educated Catholic because he is an alleged crooked lawyer.

  5. Muphin September 6, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    The bookies are a $1.22 for a Liberal win and $4.15 for Labor to win.

    This is the DIRTIEST election campaign Labor and the unions have ever run in the 50 years I have followed politics. Labor/union policy: “Play the man not the ball”. Shorten and his union minions are shouting from the roof tops, hate Abbott, hate Abbott, hate Abbott.

    • Billie September 6, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      And the media are doing Shorten’s dirty work for him.

    • Vinny September 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      In the second world war the German propaganda machine ( I think it was run by Goebbels ) said if you tell the people a lie often enough they will believe it. They had nothing compared to Labors lying media propaganda machine.

  6. nottwistedyet September 6, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I do not believe that the current Prime Minister will be gone , should they loose Canning.

    This is what the MSM with the support of our National ,Broadcaster would like to see, so therefore they are trying to make it sound, like the truth.

    The Canning by-election is a matter for the local people, nothing to do with the prime minister nor Bill Shorten.

  7. Colin Spencer September 6, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    To their credit, the Liberal Party has not been influenced by the Labor hate campaign as they keep trying to break up the Liberal team. If they are right, then we can expect Australian voters to vote for stability, while we hope the same voters will now be awake to the modus operandi of Labor and the Unions in election campaigns of Victoria and Queensland – and that they will reject that tactic in WA.

  8. Allan Usherwood September 6, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    I think that the Canning by election will be won by the Liberals, ONE because most Australians prefer a man who fights fair in the trenches than one that fights foul in the courts. If the Labor candidate goes true to form he will be hated by the intelligent side of the public as is the average car dealer who happen to come bottom of the popularity list alongside lawyers.TWO. Canning is a conservative minded constituency who generally hate the union corruption who control the Labor movement which will cease when Bull Shorten gets his comeuppance. THREE. The attempted sabotage of the China TA will not work because too many people are in favour of it in spite of what Shorten says,most sensible people even Labor even defy him ,not that their opinion is worth much.I think the nation is getting used to his lies they found out just what a liar he is, and he leaves his mark.The man who doesn’t know the difference between a Shady franchise mob and a healthy sandwich vendor company shouldn’t be running a raffle let alone a political party.
    Allan Usherwood WA.

  9. Jock September 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Malcolm Turnbull? His own party hates him, and the Nationals wouldn’t have him in flying fit – the sooner he joins the Labor Party the better. Julie Bishop will be the next Prime Minister, and Scott Morrison will be be her deputy.

    Grace Collier will be Prime Minister in 2028 – you heard it here first.

  10. Alexander Crass September 8, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    Alex. Turncoat Turnbull is a traitor who when he could not get his way when as member of the Labour party quit and joined the Liberal party where he is a disruptive influence. If the Libs make him leader I and my entire family as well as many friends will turn against the Libs . Menzies must be writhing in his grave at what the Liberal party has become.

  11. Mark September 9, 2015 at 12:06 am #

    Abbott’s finished whatever happens in Canning. He will never be forgiven for his numerous blatant lies, his useless captain’s picks and his weak, pathetic attempt as PM. SAS Hastie won’t Save Abbott’s Skin. He’ll be more interested in his own skin and getting his own snout firmly planted in the public funded trough.

    • Muphin September 9, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      Mark. Are commenting on behalf of the Labor Party or are you simply obeying orders from your union boss??

  12. Bazza September 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    Totally disagree with Mark!

    I seem to remember ….”there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” and hundreds more I could quote.

    Perhaps they all tell whoppers to save their skins in many cases or keep their jobs or to keep the lurks and perks rolling in?

    Generally they are all on a totally arrogant power trip methinks. Greed begats greed as the old adage goes.

    My take on Abbott is he has told lies which they all do…but the public soon forget….particularly the ones from the left side with daily help from the left-biased MSM.

    Hastie will win in WA with a reduced majority. The creeps in the Union movement and some well-known labor figures will not be around by the next election.

    Let’s for Christ sake concentrate on the economy, jobs and fixing the growing deficit in the near future. The public are sick of the political bun fights going on. Let’s have a really strong government that does its job and governs!

    At the end of the day I now much prefer Abbott to Shorten or Plebs if that was all the choice I was given. Maybe Bishop, Morrison or the street-smart, quiet achiever Billson from Frankston would make a sensible choice down the track?

    Can’t fathom the published poll results at all…I think it’s close to a 50/50 race right now.

  13. Probe Bono September 14, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I don’t understand the hatred for Mr. Abbott mainly from the left. I think he is doing a good job and is selfless with his time and is genuinely concerned where this country is heading. He is right up against a hostile senate and I believe a seriously corrupt Labor Party who knows no bounds in deceit and dishonesty. The Labor mob including Shorten, Rudd, Gillard, Thomson and the list goes on have all had their intregity brought into serious question. Including deliberate criminal conduct. I am yet to see the same rotten behaviour within this government. As for Turnbull he is much more suited to the Labor Party.

  14. Mr Reynard September 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Quote:There is a by-election in the federal seat of Canning in Western Australia on the 17th September 2015 because of the death Liberal MP Don Randall. There are 12 candidates and there needs to be a 11.8% swing against the Liberals for them to lose. Most polls are currently saying the swing is about 10% which makes it very close.

    with Turnbull coup me think that Canning will be lost to Liberals…. Those who want Turnbull as Liberal Leader vote always Labour, then those who voted for Liberal in Canning will not cast their ballot to Liberals , more likely a donkey vote…
    Billy will win & watch Turnbull stopping the Royal Commission on Union corruption….

    I only have sympathy for HASTIE, Andrew who will not get elected thank to Turnbull….

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