Abbott sent to the backbench as Turnbull continues to soar in polls 116



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It’s been 20 years since Tony Abbott sat on the backbench, and four weeks since Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister after winning the leadership ballot. So how are things going?

After a three-week break, parliament has returned and Abbott will be on the backbench for the first time since 1995, seated next to Andrew Laming, a Queensland Liberal MP, reports the ABC.

Malcolm Turnbull will instead sit where the former PM was, and the House of Representatives will be a different place – the fifth change of leaders in as many years.

The Australian’s latest Newspoll has revealed that many voters believe giving Abbott the boot was the right thing to do. Interestingly though, support for Turnbull is soaring but the Labor and Liberal parties are neck and neck when it comes to preferred party.

Only one in five voters want Bill Shorten as prime minister, with Mr Turnbull leading Mr Shorten as the preferred prime minister by 57 per cent to 19 per cent and the Prime Minister’s net satisfaction rating stands at 25 points while the Opposition Leader is at minus 25 points.

The poll of 1631 voters reveals that four weeks after the change of prime minister 62 per cent of Australians believe the Liberal Party did the right thing to replace Mr Abbott with Mr Turnbull while 27 per cent disagreed and 11 were uncommitted.Satisfaction with Mr Turnbull’s performance as Prime Minister at 50 per cent is the highest it’s been in four years for any prime minister, after a 12-point rise since the last poll.


So we want to know: How do you think the new government is going so far? Are you sad to see Abbott go or was it the right thing to do? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. yes well he should be on the backbench , he is not PM and Turnbull is having a honeymoon period, it happened to all PM’s except for Abbott, people are just relieved Abbott is gone

    1 REPLY
    • Yep. Cock of the walk today. Feather duster tomorrow. Except this cock is still receiving a salary that is beyond what I can imagine. Poor boy!

  2. Too early to tell how it will go. We all just have our fingers crossed Malcolm does not stuff up as we so need an excellent government right now.

    2 REPLY
    • Yes. Give the man a chance. Already there are signs of change – and he’s given his ministers more scope plus the ability to speak, instead of covering them with the “cone of silence” as did Abbott.

  3. Malcolm Turnbull will be a much better PM and I think will continue to have a better personal approval rating than the vile Tony Abbott. Too many policies are still being steered by the Neanderthals in the National Party and they seem to be endlessly attacking our security and creating uncertainty for us oldies. When it comes to voting the intelligent voter looks past the personalities at the actual policy and it is there the LNP is losing support and probably continue to without changes.

    9 REPLY
    • Opinions are fine but using such terms as “vile” are totally unnecessary.

      1 REPLY
      • Yvonne, Tony Abbott was a very dangerous man and did a lot of harm to Australia, too much to list here. Vile is one of the nicer terms I’d apply to him. Sadly, I doubt Malcolm Turnbull will undo much of the harm that’s been done, because it was also Liberal ideology.

    • Yvonne Day that word is in the dictionary and it describes Abbott to a Tea. Who opointed you the opinions moderator ? well said Barbara

    • Yvonne I though he was a sleaze and very unimpressive as the leader of our nation. That is my opinion. Obviously there are people that actually liked him, but the polls show not enough. I expect many people are either better or worse than their public profile portrays them but for many of us the public profile is all we can judge them on.

    • Mr Turnbull did not rate too well when he was leader of the Liberal party last time, perhaps he has learnt. He is too long winded when he speaks and flirts with the facts i.e. at Liberal Party convention on Saturday. Mind you if the uncommitted vote Labor he is done for as the two party is 50/50.

    • Those who know Abbott agree on one thing. He is a very decent person. The word ‘vile’ is quite wrong and symbolic of the never ending trashing he received from the Left.
      I do not know Abbott but I do know some who have worked with him in surfing, fire fighting and cycling for women’s’ charities. I wonder if someone can tell me one issue that Turnbull has addressed differently?

    • Leigh he can actually answer a question, it might be all spin, but I found Tony Abbott infuriating as he wouldn’t even attempt to answer a question just parrot on with his three word slogans. I watched him answer questions put to him about the economy with ‘we’ve stopped the boats’ then when pushed a little to answer he came up with another slogan. Tony Abbott may be a thoroughly good bloke but that doesn’t make him a good PM. Turnbull has not come out with such aggressive statements about Muslims as Tony Abbott did. He is funding public transport again first in Qld. Tony Abbott killed off South Australia’s electrification of its rail lines by scrapping the projected funding and left it half finished and he wouldn’t provide Commonwealth funding for any thing but roads. He has changed Ministers about but too early to tell how they’ll all perform. I loathed Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader with his Dr No stance on everything, standing in front of the Ditch the Witch sign rated him as a vile creature in my book and several of his comments on issues has reinforced that.

  4. Turnbull needs to be strong on not letting anymore welfare shopping “refugees” in & putting moslems in their place… that I mean stop trying to appease these people……after 1400 of history it’s obvious that appeasement dos’nt work.

  5. You know what? I’m over the circus, we are now the laughing stock of the world. Where else in the world do you see them changing their leaders like their under ware? It’s time our so called leader got on with the job and do what they are paid to do. And as for Tony Abbott I don’t care if he is on the back bench or out the back door, you got what you deserved Tony.

    2 REPLY
    • France has done it Trish and both Australia and Britain have changed their Leaders on a regular basis under the Westminster system. In fact only 4 Leaders in Australia have come through the “electoral system”. John Howard was one of these, as the Liberals when JH was Leader defeated Labour (under Paul Keating) and John Howard was still the Leader when the Libs lost to Labour (under Kevin Rudd).

  6. He can speak better and isn’t into 3 word slogans, but that’s it, he still has the same policy’s so I can’t see why people think things are any better.

    7 REPLY
    • They’re not. The week I received a $5.80 per month New Start rise – Telstra advised my mobile ph charge would rise by $10 per month. Hubby is slightly better off. When he received a $7.28 per month pension rise, his Telstra phone also has a $10 per month rise. So he is $2.72 per month worse off and I am $4.20 per month worse off. That is only the phones – we won’t mention insurances on house or car or Bupa or food – all of which have risen considerably.We’re not going backward – we’re falling off a cliff.

      1 REPLY
      • Save some money and toss your mobile phone in the bin. Yet another unnecessary modern day distraction.

    • Leone O’Sullivan and there is a good chance we will all end up with a welfare card to boot making it even harder to juggle our money, I am always robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • Cecilia Waterson you got a job for Leone O’Sullivan ? 800,000 out of work the highest unemployment for 20 years and not enough jobs out there

    • Cecilia Waterson You can be the first to sing Happy Birthday to me when I get off Newstart in less than 3 months time.

  7. Once people realize Turnbull has the same policies as Abbott things may change but for now he is certainly more pleasant to have as PM than Abbott ever would be

  8. Good lord it has only been 4 weeks. I don’t know how anyone can judge his performance as PM in that short time.

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