Try as he might to dress it up with talk of "putting Australian workers first", it can hardly be doubted that electoral considerations were at the forefront of the Prime Minister’s mind when he unveiled an overhaul of the 457 visa system on Tuesday.

That the policy’s bite may not match Turnbull's bark in no way diminishes the significance of the populist shift in rhetoric on immigration -- a point underscored less than 24 hours later by US President Donald Trump, when he signed an order curtailing his own government's visa program for skilled foreign workers.