Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison has named his new ministry, although it appears it’s too little, too late as voters turn against the Coalition in the latest Newspoll.
The poll, which was released overnight exclusively by The Australian, saw popular support for the Coalition plunge to its lowest levels in a decade. This now means the Morrison-led party is sitting on 33 per cent in the primary vote, dropping four points. Meanwhile, backing for Labor has climbed to 41 per cent.
This now means the Coalition has tied with the second-worst result, set by Brendan Nelson as opposition leader a decade ago. It also means that Labor is sitting ahead of the Coalition when it comes to the two-party preferred vote. Labor is now ahead at 56 per cent, compared to the government’s 44 per cent. Just two weeks early, it was a 51-49 gap, suggesting the troubles that plagued the Coalition last week haven’t sat well with voters.
Still, it should be noted this result doesn’t match a low set by Malcolm Turnbull under his leadership. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is also more popular than Morrison if the latest Newspoll is to be believed, sitting at 39 per cent to Morrison’s 33 per cent.
The new PM has called his new team one for the “next generation”.
“It is a team that are brought together to assure that we have the stability necessary but in addition to that, begin the work of healing that is needed after these most recent events,” he reportedly said on Sunday.
During an announcement, he said his leadership rival will retain responsibility for a reduced home affairs position, where he would focus on cyber security, border control, law enforcement and the security agencies. Meanwhile, David Coleman would also share responsibility for immigration.
Josh Frydenberg, who became deputy leader of the party in the leadership spill, will take over Morrison’s former position as treasurer. Following Julie Bishop’s resignation as foreign minister on Sunday, the new PM named Marise Payne, who had been defence minister, as foreign minister. Bishop said in a separate announcement that she would stay on the back bench and hadn’t yet decided whether to contest her seat in Western Australia at the next election.
Former PM Tony Abbott, who was toppled as liberal party leader by Turnbull in 2015, has no role in the new ministry, but former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce was named a special envoy on drought assistance and recovery.
Meanwhile, Turnbull slammed those he believed plotted to bring down his prime ministership, explaining that Aussie voters have been left “dumbstruck and appalled” by the leadership spill scandal over the past few weeks.
“There was a determined insurgency from a number of people both in the party room and backed by voices, powerful voices, in the media, to bring down, not bring down the government, but bring down my prime ministership,” he said on the televised broadcast on ABC. “It was extraordinary. It was described as madness by many, and I think it’s difficult to describe it in any other way.”