Although he holds the country’s top job, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is no longer the most powerful person in Australia, according to Australian Financial Review magazine’s most powerful Australian’s list.
Morrison lost the top spot, coming in at second place, to a combined first place of four state premiers which included Annastacia Palaszczuk, Gladys Berejiklian, Daniel Andrews, and Mark McGowan, which comes as the NSW Premier resigned from her position Friday.
The list is part of the magazine’s annual Power Issue and is decided by a panel of experts who analyse an individual’s power and its wider effect on the public.
Financial Review Editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury told 9 News the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the country’s power structures.
“The pandemic has resulted in a real shift in how power is exercised within the federation,” he said.
“That’s based on the extreme risk aversion within the population, which the premiers have responded to.”
The Prime Minister might run the nation and set policy, but it is the state premiers who wield the real power in the pandemic, managing every aspect of ordinary Australians’ lives. https://t.co/FTJsouoAQy
— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) October 1, 2021
It is the first time a Prime Minister hasn’t secured the top spot since 2000 when the list began.
The Prime Minister’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg came in at third on the list while fourth was another combined entry of the State Chief Health Officers.
Former Political Staffer Brittany Higgins was listed as sixth and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese placed ninth behind Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce at seventh.
Morrison claimed the top spot as Australia’s most powerful person in 2020 due largely to his management of the Covid-19 crisis. However support has been slipping for the Prime Minster and the Liberal National Party recently according to the latest polls.
The latest Roy Morgan research found support for the ALP increased to 54 per cent over LNP’s 46%.
Roy Morgan CEO Michelle Levine said the recent purchase of nuclear submarines as part of the AUKUS defence agreement had done little to win over Australian voters.
“Although the new AUKUS defence agreement grabbed a lot of headlines it is still the situation with COVID-19 in Australia that is driving political sentiment.”