Freck­ling­ton hob­bled by toxic Can­berra in­fight­ing as party loses touch with vot­ers

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - STATE POLITICS - STEVEN WARDILL

THERE is un­likely to be a Queens­lan­der who wants the fed­eral elec­tion re­solved sooner than Deb Freck­ling­ton.

The LNP leader is in the para­dox­i­cal po­si­tion where her ap­peal among vot­ers is fi­nally on the way up, yet her party’s sup­port has sagged like a luke­warm souf­fle.

In the 10th year since the merger of the Lib­eral and Na­tional par­ties in Queens­land, brand LNP has mor­phed into a toxic acro­nym. The macabre po­lit­i­cal spec­ta­cle of their Can­berra col­leagues – par­tic­u­larly Mal­colm Turn­bull’s flay­ing – con­tin­u­ally eclipses the Op­po­si­tion’s ef­forts to point out the State Govern­ment’s short­falls.

It is not with­out irony that the coup was kicked off by a Queens­lan­der in Peter Dut­ton, a man mocked by crit­ics for hav­ing the elec­toral ap­peal of a three-day-old baked po­tato.

Mean­while, face­less bit play­ers within the party have or­dered them­selves up a lynch mob af­ter a few MPs from south­east Queens­land – the area where the LNP needs to win – backed abor­tion re­form.

Th­ese acts are those of a party that has lost touch with vot­ers and what it takes to win. They pre­fer fight­ing each other than their op­po­nents.

Freck­ling­ton was lit­tle known when she as­sumed the LNP lead­er­ship. How­ever, this might be the first term in a very long time when Queens­land’s con­ser­va­tives in op­po­si­tion haven’t swapped a leader.

That’s no small achieve- ment against a Govern­ment that does lit­tle wrong but turned do­ing very lit­tle into an art form.

Freck­ling­ton needs the fed­eral poll to be over. That will likely give her less than 18 months to cook up an al­ter­na­tive govern­ment in the hope that Queens­lan­ders are hun­gry for change.

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