In a rubbish bin in Redfern, seven months after the election won by Labor Anthony Albanese, you can see a sticker that reads "Bin Him" ("Throw it in the trash" in English) with the face of the former Prime Minister, Liberal Scott Morrison.
In office between 2019 and 2022, the now deputy for Cook has ended the year becoming the first former president to receive a motion of no confidence for his secret ministries and has appeared before the Royal Commission on Robodebt, a government initiative that among in 2015 and 2019 it created a debt of 1.76 billion dollars for 443,000 people.
“The worst government in history”, in the words of former Liberal leader John Hewson, threw away the fourth consecutive Conservative term. In the May elections, the Liberals obtained "worrying" results, as the party report published before Christmas points out: they only have 4 of the 44 urban seats left; although Parliament has the largest number of women in history, they have the lowest number of female deputies in their ranks; they are only strong in rural Australia. On the other hand, his government partner, The Nationals, did not lose a single representative.
“It's fair to say that the May election was a coalition defeat rather than a Labor victory,” says Sarah Cameron, a researcher on voting behaviour. In her opinion, the three factors of the defeat are "the unpopularity of Scott Morrison, the poor perception of the management of the pandemic and a dire economic outlook, the worst since the nineties."
The report on the May federal elections produced by the Australian National University shows that his popularity was the lowest in 35 years of study, at 3.8. Cameron, co-author of the study, points out that "the gender gap is widening", conservatives have less support among women, and it is observed that generations Z and millennials, who are already over 30, do not become as conservative as in generations previous.
“This 2022, citizen disaffection ran into well-organized and subsidized independent campaigns that provided a viable alternative,” Cameron remarks. For example, in Kooyong, Melbourne, where Treasurer Josh Frydenberg lost his seat to Monique Ryan, a neurologist and department head at a hospital, in one of the party's so-called safe seats.
In Canberra, while the liberals protected Morrison for the affair of the secret ministries during the pandemic (which a report described as "corrosive to trust in governments"), Albanese and his Executive strive to extend their honeymoon. They came to power in a campaign that, far from major reforms, accepted conservative premises such as lowering taxes on high incomes or the policy of returning small boats that reach the coast. They had fewer votes than in 2019, but they won due to the non-appearance of the liberals.
But in eight months it is difficult to keep up with the government. Before the summer vacation, Albanese secured a national anti-corruption commission in Parliament, won votes in the Senate to pass new labor relations legislation, approved the new target of reducing emissions to 43% and is now focusing his forces on holding of the referendum on the inclusion of indigenous citizens in the Constitution to be held next May.
In addition, this week the Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, has been in Beijing to open talks with China, in a move that the Japanese ambassador praised in an article in the Financial Review as "representing the first step towards the stabilization of the relationships". According to polls, 60% of the population approves of Albanese's management, one point above June, after winning the elections. Some reforms that he has managed to negotiate in the Senate with the Greens and reaching out to the independents, who won the seats from the liberals. A party that has governed 50 of the almost 80 years of its existence, but that today has the worst number of seats since 1946, when they first stood for election.