Monday, May 23, 2022

As Monday dawns on a new era

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister today, pledging to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full and take tougher action on climate change as Labor takes power for the first time in nine years.

Mr Albanese, who will fly to Tokyo with Penny Wong today for the Quad leaders’ summit with US, Indian and Japanese leaders, promised to “get down to business’’ on Labor’s policy agenda when he returned on Wednesday. Labor was on Sunday confident of forming majority government despite the ALP primary vote plunging to 32.8 per cent and the shock losses of frontbenchers Kristina Keneally and Terri ­Butler.

Simon Benson writes: This is a watershed moment for Australian politics. The depth of disillusionment in the two-party system is unmistakeable and the tipping point that people have talked about for years has finally arrived. The size of the crossbench will more than double, with up to 15 independents and minor party MPs. Such an outcome is without precedent for the Australian parliament.

Peter Dutton is the frontrunner to replace Scott Morrison un­opposed as Liberal leader following the election bloodbath and loss of rising stars in the partyroom. The loss of up to 10 moderate Liberal MPs is expected to hand Mr Dutton and the conservative faction greater power in deciding the leadership line-up at the next partyroom meeting. Keep up with the latest in our live blog, PoliticsNow.

The Liberal Party has been cleaved in two and faces ­divisions in how to respond to the election defeat, including which direction to take in the next parliamentary term, after its moderate faction was “eviscerated”.

According to Jamie Walker, the Liberals’ centre of gravity has collapsed into the outer suburbs and regions, far removed from the leafy inner-city heartland seats that turned teal or Green to pose an existential threat to the party of Menzies and Howard.

The Coalition has been weakened by Anthony Albanese’s election victory, with senior Liberal and Nationals frontbenchers acknowledging growing differences between urban and regional communities as well as ongoing conflicts over climate change.

While the Liberals were on track to lose 19 seats on Sunday, with a further three in danger, the Nationals were holding all of their 16 lower house seats. Barnaby Joyce says his future as leader of the Nationals will be a “decision for the party room”.  Mr Joyce said: “With three retiring members, the Nats held every seat and picked up another senator. I am proud that, with our team, I have never gone to an election as leader or deputy and not held all the seats as well as winning one, and that is with the tide coming in or against us.”

No comments: