Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Can Peter Dutton turn potential rout into strategic defeat?

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 23 August 2018

Peter Craig Dutton may become the 30th Prime Minister of Australia not that long after Malcolm Turnbull lost his 30th consecutive Newspoll, but that is the easy part.

When Turnbull loses the prime ministership it will be more because of his own political and temperamental incompetence than anything else.

While there have been snipers, he is the author of his own demise.


There have been policy missteps, culminating in his disastrous castration of the NEG (which really only had three legs to start with anyway).

Strategic missteps, such as over-egging the chances of winning the Longman and Braddon byelections. Interpersonal missteps, like failing to keep key supporters close enough.

And the final and most fundamental misstep: becoming leader of a party that he tolerated rather than loved.

All of which, and more, led to what is almost an organic leadership coup, that has warriors but doesn’t appear to have leaders.

Turnbull has pulled the whole edifice down on himself, and almost without any effort, Peter Dutton looks to have ended on top (although he may just have paved the way for someone else).

So shambolic was the whole affair that I am aware of key players who weren’t even approached, let alone lobbied, by either side!


Given the genesis of his rise I have no doubt that most of those voting for Dutton don’t expect him to win the next election.

What this is about is turning a rout into a strategic defeat.

Can Dutton do this, or does he turn the rout into a massacre?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

This article was first published in the Australian.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

17 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 17 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy