While Bill Shorten is the biggest election loser, having lost the unloseable election, there is another big loser: the Turnbull Family. Malcolm Turnbull, since being deposed as Prime Minister in August 2018, made a number of unhelpful interventions in Liberal party politics.
The only time he campaigned for the party was to support a fellow moderate in the party: New South Wales Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian in her successful re-election bid. But he again did not campaign alongside the Liberal candidate in his former seat of Wentworth, Dave Sharma, this election.
The most vengeance and vitriol came from his son Alex, an investment banker based in Singapore. He began his entry into politics by urging voters in Wentworth to vote against the Liberals because of their lack of action on climate change.
His Twitter account was full of foul abuse of conservative politicians and media personalities and rage against the Murdoch press who he blamed for his father’s demise.
But Alex Turnbull decided to channel his online rage into political activism,
becoming part of a loose alliance of people who assisted Liberal-aligned centrist independents in providing corporate structures and software for their campaigns.
These “liberal” independents were made up of former Liberal MP Julia Banks challenging Health Minister Greg Hunt in Flinders, Zali Steggall challenging Tony Abbott in Warringah, Oliver Yates challenging Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong and Rob Oakeshott attempting to return to parliament in Cowper.
The only victor on election night was Zali Steggall in Warringah, running on a climate action agenda. Alex Turnbull did put in extra effort in this seat, teaming with GetUp to voice robocalls against Tony Abbott. The Turnbulls will take some glee in seeing the political demise of their arch enemy in the Liberal Party.
However, all the other “liberal” independents lost and failed to unseat the Coalition candidates in their seats. Plus, in Wentworth, Dave Sharma is on track to regain the seat for the Liberals from independent Kerryn Phelps.
Alex Turnbull, who had been very eager to use his Twitter account to spread his bile, today shut his account down.
Clearly he was in shock, embarrassed and humiliated. His moderate liberal revolution did not happen and his message did not resonate with voters.
This stunning win for the Liberal Party demonstrates that the Turnbull family members are so bad at politics they cannot even sabotage their own side of politics. While they are good at making money in business, as is common, it hasn’t translated to politics. You can’t buy political success, just ask Clive Palmer.
The Liberal Party has now finally shaken off the ghost of Malcolm Turnbull, and the coup against him has now been politically vindicated. Scott Morrison has victory in his own right, his own authority as leader, and the Liberal Party has control of its party again. The sky is the limit now.