Dec 22, 2016

You can run, Cory, but you can’t hide from electoral reality

Cory Bernardi's fantasy of forming a new conservative political party faces a grim electoral reality that it's an already highly contested market.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The prevailing wisdom about the possibility of a conservative breakaway from the Liberal Party — with Cory Bernardi again being touted as the leader — is that this would stand a strong chance of being successful, and would be disastrous for Malcolm Turnbull. After all, more than 40% of Coalition voters have said they would vote for a conservative party. Only problem is, Bernardi would be hanging his shingle out in a very crowded market.


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10 thoughts on “You can run, Cory, but you can’t hide from electoral reality

  1. Dion Giles

    What exactly IS the misnamed “conservative” ideology before which Turnbull cringes? What is the point by point legislative programme of Abbott’s opus dei metastases? All they seem to do is snipe without revealing their plan (if any) for Australia.

    1. Decorum

      I’d like that question answered too! I assumed a Bernardi Brotherhood would favour very small government, but Bernard’s wording about NXT suggests otherwise.

  2. klewso

    It would be Ground-hog Day funny, watching Turbott going head in hands to the cross-benches of Bernardi Inc; to get his plans reworked – before being passed in another form? …. Déjà vu all over again?

  3. Draco Houston

    Check the numbers in the house, if these people break away it would probably cause an election, during which they would be a spoiler party. It *would* be disastrous for Turnbull because he would no longer be PM. In other words, the breakaway party would be like the DLP.

    Sure, the DLP is a joke now, but it wasn’t when it formed and took out labour state governments.

  4. old greybearded one

    I might vote Liberal if the mongrel left, as long as he took Abbott, Abetz and Christensen. The Liberals have lost the fundamental tenet of Menzies, which was that he wanted it to be a progressive party. And in many many ways it was. Oh yes, we laugh at his monarchism, but he saw a path ahead and tried to make it. Howard saw nothing looked in the mirror, and in many ways went back 50 years. Abbott is just a whinger and a sponger as he always was and I reckon Menzies would have strangled Abetz and Bernardi. In his time Ming looked forward and he did not see a country of oligarchs and tax dodgers assisted by ignorant fools disguised as ministers.

  5. Will

    You could barely hope to find two more diametrically opposed articles than this one from Keane and the one from Razer today. According to Keane, Bernardi is likely toast if he abandons the electorally popular centre. According to Razer, the centre is toast because the electorate has moved to the extremes. Of course, Keane’s referent electorate is Australian, while Razer’s is that of the global West. Which brings us to the question – will they follow us, or will we follow them?

  6. Andrew P Street

    One thing I’m genuinely looking forward to is what happens in the reasonably likely event that Bob Day is deemed as being ineligible to have run in the 2016 election: this would make the ballot ineligible (there were only two Family First candidates, the minimum for an above-the-line spot; if one was ineligible, all their above the line votes would be arguably invalid) and the SA upper house vote will have to be held again. In that event, Bernardi would need to convince the SA Liberals that sure, he SAID he’d consider leaving the Liberal Party right after the election after hanging shit on the party’s performance, and he set up the Australian Conservatives as a possible alternative, and he spent the last six months undermining the PM and the front bench, and in December 2016 he refused to rule out leaving – but he’d still very much like a nice safe spot at the top of the ballot so he can keep that six year term there’s no way in fuck he’ll win on his own, thanks!

    I can’t imagine the Libs bumping him down the ballot, since he still holds a lot of sway in the local party machine – but he was already nudged from #1 to #2 this year for Simon Birmingham, and presumably some people in SA have to be wondering why they would be giving him a nice safe seat when he’s obviously planning to smash them over the head with it.

    1. Dion Giles

      In a new Senate poll Labor won’t be hanging back from mentioning Bernadi’s threats. He’ll be out on his ear.

  7. AR

    I signed on to Borey Carnadi’s Conservative Movement soon after he mooted it – every little bit helps when it comes to forcing rabid rightards to make a move and be crushed.
    As for Talcum, he is currently dead in the water, only afloat like a Bondi cigar because the torys know that if they dump him for the Return the Clown Prince he will resign his seat and it could very well be lost, and thus government.
    So in fact he could become a real boy, dare the trogs. & worse in the party room to dump him and, y’know, do… stuff. Though what, he has never made clear.

  8. Venise Alstergren

    Surely, and despite the weak-witted religious fraternity, the Australia of 2017 is unlike the Australia of Bob Santamaria, and the heyday of the DLP. Nuns travelling in groups; their voluminous skirts scraping across the ground. Books banned, movies banned, and so on….and so on.
    Peter Dutton fancies himself as a scaled down Donald Trump? You’re kidding Bernard?? Much as I loathe Donald Trump his mad rants do at least keep me awake. Whereas Peter Dutton is a soporific.

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