IMPACT: Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his former role as treasurer.
IMPACT: Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his former role as treasurer. LUKAS COCH

UQ analyst: Leadership issue could hurt O'Dowd

THE Liberal Party's decision to dump Malcolm Turnbull and install treasurer Scott Morrison as Prime Minister is a "gamble" that could give Labor candidate Zac Beers an "opportunity to pounce" in the seat of Flynn, according to a political analyst.

University of Queensland political psychology lecturer Dr Frank Mols said the decision to switch Liberal leaders was likely to have an impact on Coalition politicians even if they were not involved in the leadership stoush, including Nationals-aligned MP Ken O'Dowd.

"I would be very worried if I were the LNP candidate there," Dr Mols told The Observer.

"The reason why is no one (in the government) has yet been able to articulate what exactly it was all about.

"The NEG seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but other than that it seems to have been about all the worst things that people think about politics."

Dr Mols said the leadership issue flaring up again would have been "music to the ears" of minor parties like One Nation.

 

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd in his Gladstone office on 3 April, 2018.
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd in his Gladstone office on 3 April, 2018. Matt Taylor GLA030418KENO

"The natural winds are sort of blowing in the direction of the minor parties anyhow, and this will only make this wind stronger," he said.

"I'd be following what those minor parties are doing (in Flynn), what Pauline Hanson is doing... and the Labor candidate has an opportunity to pounce if he plays it well."

But Dr Mols predicted an election was unlikely to be held for another six months, potentially giving Mr Morrison a chance to turn around the Coalition's slump in the opinion polls.



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