Home General News The Moments That Could Have Cost Scott Morrison the Premiership

The Moments That Could Have Cost Scott Morrison the Premiership

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Scott Morrison loomed large in a report of the National Secretary’s Labor election victory, outlining some key moments that may have strengthened voters’ perceptions of the former prime minister – and a defeat for the coalition.

Paul Erickson said positive appeals to a “better future” ultimately helped Labor win.

On Wednesday, the ALP’s national secretary said the party platform was deeper than a coalition pitch whose high-profile policy, allowing for the inclusion of pensions for housing purposes, was released six days before the election.

Attacking Mr. Morrison’s competence and character was key to selling Labour’s platform to undecided voters who showed a “deep sense of fatigue, fear and aversion to risk” following the pandemic.The Moments That Could Have Cost Scott Morrison the Premiership

ALP National Secretary Paul Erickson. Photo: ALP

“This was the second goal of our campaign: to make sure that everyone who is still on the fence, the ghost that haunts them in the polling booth, was Scott Morrison for three years,” he said.

Mr. Erickson said Mr. Morrison was already associated with negative character traits the party played on during the campaign, such as avoiding taking the blame for mistakes and deep partisanship.

Mr. Erikson’s report on the election result touches on the problems where pre-election blunders had already seriously injured the coalition entering the campaign.


A voter response to a government that has failed to respond to shocking allegations of sexual misconduct has damaged Morrison’s reputation among female voters.

The National Secretary noted that several incidents or issues have fueled this perception of Mr. Morrison, including policies such as ending universal childcare.

But Erickson said party research showed Morrison’s alleged inability to understand women was one of the most enduring assessments of his character by voters.

Response to Brittany Higgins’ allegations

Mr. Morrison’s response to accusations by a former Liberal staffer that she had been raped in the ministerial wing of Parliament stuck with female voters until election day, Erickson said.

The former prime minister invoked his experience as a father to explain why he took Ms. Higgins’ allegations seriously, prompting critics to question whether he had just admitted that he had no human concern.

“Jenny and I spoke last night, and she said, ‘As a father, you need to think about this first. What would you like to happen if it were our girls?’ said Mr. Morrison.

“Jenny has a way of making things clear. Always has. And so, as I’ve been thinking about that at night and listening to Brittany and what she had to say.”

Greetings, a ‘triumph.’

A month later, protesters gathered to condemn the culture in Parliament’s workplace and call for action.

Mr. Morrison acknowledged the protesters during his speech to Parliament, making a comment criticized as slippery and left some women baffled.

“Not far from here, such marches are still being shot at with bullets, even now, but not here in this country,” Mr. Morrison told Parliament.

“This is a triumph of democracy when we see these things happen.”

The fear of China

Coalition rhetoric about China before the election reached such a peak that it received a veiled rebuke from senior members of the national security institute.

But it was during the campaign that Mr. Morrison really went the hardest. During the first leadership debate with Anthony Albanese, in response to a question about his government’s presence in the Pacific, Mr. Morrison posed, “Why do you always side with China?” His successor suggested it was time to prepare for war.

Mr. Erickson said their campaign sensed opportunity during the debate and all the moments leading up to it.

“Within a week, Labor released our detailed plan to restore Australia’s place as a partner of choice for countries in the Pacific,” he said.

“The contrast couldn’t have been more obvious.”

Secretary of State Penny Wong quickly established ties in the Pacific and made her first official trip to Fiji.

The ALP boss said the rhetoric undeniably affected Australian voters of Chinese descent. Labor won seats with large Sino-Australian voters, such as Melbourne’s Chisholm and Bennelong in Sydney’s north.

Record Premieres

COVID-19 presented a unique set of political circumstances in the run-up to the election, one of which gave state prime ministers a strong foothold in public debate due to their pivotal role in the pandemic response.

Mr. Morrison apparently failed to read the room, Mr. Erickson said, and was punished for choosing to fight with two state governments over the closure of the COVID borders, which Labor voters said were “mindlessly partisan”.

In March 2020, Mr. Morrison joined mining magnate Clive Palmer’s lawsuit against the WA government’s decision to close the border between states. It would haunt him for the rest of his days as prime minister, playing a major role in analyzing the coalition’s election results in what was once its base.

“I’m afraid an all-or-nothing approach to the matter is not the best way forward because I think the constitutional position is pretty clear,” he said of Mr. Palmer’s case, who says the constitution was correct.

Months later, he was back at it, making indirect but clear criticisms of Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk over a highway shutdown just before the state elections — an intervention many felt was more appropriate for a sitting prime minister.

“It’s not something I should brag about; it’s things that are necessary, but which are unfortunately necessary in many cases,” Morrison said.

Mr. Erickson said the comments, coupled with what he described as a cynical strategy of seeking credit for pandemic successes and ensuring only prime ministers delivered bad news, proved “fearful” to voters.

“At the heart of this behavior were two impulses that the liberals seemed unable to control — hubris and mindless partisanship,” he said.

Only failure personified

These are just some points that Mr. Erickson suggests may have been decisive.

His nuanced account of campaigning shows how the political victory of one party is inextricably linked to the missteps of the other. Ultimately, he rejects any analysis based on one person or issue; The coalition’s failings were personified by Mr. Morrison, but they were collective and institutional. He nominated his own list of eight reasons why the alliance lost:

A pathological refusal to take responsibility for anything that stems from their petty government mindset Incompetent management of federal government responsibilities during the pandemic Cabinet-wide partisan attacks on state and territory governments across COVID that have particularly affected voters in Victoria and Western Australia alienated Incompetent budget management An incompetent and disjointed response to the cost of living crisis Incoherent engagement with our allies in our region A lack of awareness or interest in women’s experiences in the economy and society A decades-long failure to take climate change seriously.

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