Tony Abbott came to office lauded as the most effective leader of the opposition since Whitlam, but the signs of an imperfect transition to the prime ministership would soon emerge. Why did Abbott fail to grow into the job to which he had aspired for decades? Backbenchers complained about the leader's office, the lack of access, front benchers leaked about cabinet processes to the media. His long apprenticeship in religion, journalism and political life prepared him for neither the mundane business of people management nor the commanding heights of national leadership. Public goodwill evaporated after a tough first budget the government failed to explain. Inside the Liberal party individual ambitions and a succession of poor polls produced increasing concern that the next election was lost. As a result, the horse named self-interest won yet again.
- Electronic book text
- 18 Nov 2015
- Melbourne University Press
- Melbourne University Press Digital
Peter van Onselen is an Australian academic, author and political journalist. He is the Contributing Editor at The Australian newspaper and a presenter at Sky News. He holds the Chair of Journalism at the University of Western Australia Wayne Errington is the author of numerous books and articles about Australian politics. He is senior lecturer in politics at the University of Adelaide.