The unpopularity contest

If you thought the last election presented you with an historically poor choice of leadership candidates (at MB we sure thought so) then you may find comfort in the ANU’s epic Trends in Australian Political Opinion study which found the public rated this batch of pollies the worst since the survey began in 1987. I’ve listed the lineups in chronological order below:

1987
1990
1993
1996
1998
2001
2004
2007
2010
2013

The winner, or least loser, was leadership heavyweight (or is that invisible) Warren Truss.

The study is large, conducted by post with 4,000 households. Full document here for the politically fascinated.

David Llewellyn-Smith

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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Comments

    • Stuff Bandt, Scott Ludlam is the most switched on in the party. If only his seat wasn’t so vulnerable, if he was leader I’d vote Green for sure.

    • Agree that the Greens could do better than Christine.

      Adam Brandt or Scott Ludlum would be fine choices. Larissa Waters is probably the most photogenic parliamentarian in Cannerra right now but I’d like to see the new Tasmanian Senator Whish-Wilson given a bigger role.He has an ADF and merchant banking background which would help the Greens acquire a “harder” image.

  1. Check out how popular Beazley was after the 1998 election! Way more popular than the rodent.

    He came so close in 98, and then got hit with 9/11 and Tampa in 2001. A very unlucky leader, and so I hear, a genuinely nice bloke. Possibly too nice.

    • Yeah, he looked like he was going to win in 2001, until the Libs lucked out with the Tampa and they milked it for all it was worth with the whole “children overboard” lie.

    • It’s alright, he got a pretty cushy gig out of it, Ambassador to Washington is one of the most coveted ‘rewards’ you can get.

    • Keating? What about Howard! Would be top of the pile now such is the hankering for the good old days of the Howard era.

      • John Howard.
        Never read a middle-class welfare program he didnt like.

        It was Howard who mostly pissed away the mining boom on tax cuts which we, as good aussies, promptly spent on home entertainment systems, holidays in Bali and negatively geared IP.

        It was Howard who got the Big Australia agenda in motion without any consultation or mandate whilst cynically using “the boats” as smokescreen.

        Best things he did were getting rid of many guns, Timor and the GST.

        On balance though, not my favourite PM.

      • Howard did nothing useful (reform wise) after his first term. The GST exhausted his political capital, and after that we just got middle class welfare and the dreadful 50% CGT concession in 1999.

        Keating as treasurer was excellent for his entire term. Keating the Prime Minister was far less impressive, especially after 1993.

    • I reckon Hewson was a much better leader in retrospect as well. Australia may have made the wrong decision in 1993. If Hewson had won, our political history would have been very different and probably better.

      • And since that day there’s an absolute paucity of anything I’d consider a statesman to be seen in Australian politics. Beazly was even worse than Howard if that’s possible! Keating/Hewson were last they saw the sun set on an independent Australia.

      • And since that day there’s an absolute paucity of anything I’d consider a statesman to be seen in Australian politics.
        Bob Brown.

      • Indeed. Never has there been a politician who lived as he preached.

        Regardless of what you thought of he’s policies, Bob was no phony.

  2. Who cares. Abbot and Hockey are doing what they want and obviously don’t give a s… (a second thought).

  3. Abbott and Hockey haven’t covered themselves in glory yet, but not too many of the leaders of earlier eras had after less than six months in office either.

    Not saying that they will, just that we have yet to see their true mettle.