I know – WTF?!?

Yet this would have to have crossed the minds of the mysterious forces pushing the Two Tonys leadership option  – either that, or the Coalition have so lost the plot that they’ve decided elections no longer really matter.

We’ve banged on before about how the Coalition’s key electoral problem is with female voters. If we use the Newspoll quarterly aggregations to track primary votes of the majors by gender, it sort of speaks for itself.

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The Coalition is pulling a fairly stable average of 37-39 among male voters, which isn’t crash hot, but it’s not exactly terrible either. The thing about election campaigns is that it’s pretty easy to win or lose a few points with any demographic, so if the Coalition went into the next campaign only 3 or 4 points down among males, it’s a doable proposition for them.

With the female vote however, they’re pulling an average 34-37, which is a staggering 7 to 10 point decline on their result from the last election. Turning around a gap that large simply isn’t a doable proposition over the short time frame of an election campaign. For the Coalition to not go backwards at the next election (let alone win), they have to substantially improve their female voter base before the next election campaign starts, simply to give them some realistic base to launch a final assault on Labor from during the campaign itself.

Which begs the question of the Two Tonys replacing Turnbull and Bishop – can anyone honestly say “Tony Abbott – Electoral Chick Magnet” without physically laughing?

Gillard and Roxon have a solid history of success when it comes to making life awkward miserable for Abbott – the ALP would use them as the first line of defence for their female vote share should the Two Tony’s option ever see the light of day.

For the Coalition to not go backwards at the next election, they need to improve their female vote – if anyone thinks Tony Abbott is the person for that job, they should ask a few members of the fairier sex for their opinion.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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