Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Era of half-Nelson puns over

Posted by occidentprone on September 16, 2008

Malcolm Turnbull is humbled. Now that he’s top dog.

Turnbull is the new federal Liberal leader after Brendan Nelson called for a spill and wouldn’t you know got dumped. That’s why he was not good as leader, his capacity to read a situation / nation / party room / voters was notoriously off.

Mr Turnbull defeated Dr Nelson by a narrow margin of 45-41 at a partyroom meeting this morning.

Dr Nelson’s decision to call the leadership was designed to catch Mr Turnbull off balance after weeks of speculation and just days after the Member for Wentworth returned from Italy.

Julie Bishop remains as deputy leader.

Mr Turnbull lost the leadership ballot to Dr Nelson by just three votes on November 29 last year. 

But Dr Nelson polled poorly against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and speculation had been continuing that either former treasurer Peter Costello would be drafted into the leadership or Mr Turnbull would make a move.

Mr Costello, who launches his memoirs today, effectively ruled himself out of leadership contention last week. (Source: The Australian

The West Australian reports:

Mr Turnbull, 54, said he was “honoured and humbled” to be elected as leader.

The Wentworth MHR said his job in power would be to allow the “dreams of Australians to be enabled”.

“We must, above all, have policies that reflect the values upon which our party is bound – freedom and fairness,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I didn’t get here from a life of privilege … I know what it’s like to be short of money,” said the millionaire and former merchant banker.

“We are a party of opportunity and … this is a land of opportunity.

“But we need to have confidence, we need to have leadership, we need above all to have the opportunities to do well.

“And that is the great difference between our side of politics and Labor, because we believe that government’s role is to enable each and every Australian to do their best, to exercise their freedom of choice to do their best.”

“Labor believes government knows best. We are not so vain as Mr Rudd.”

Ms Bishop refused to say who she supported in the party room vote, but said the party would be well served by Mr Turnbull’s “intellect and vision”.

Turnbull is obviously playing the little known “ironic card” of politics when he says “We are not so vain as Mr Rudd”.

Crikey‘s Bernard Keane says the outcome should faze the Government:

In ALP Caucus, Julia Gillard, filling in for an absent PM, declared that it didn’t matter who led the Liberal Party. Ah, but it will, Deputy Prime Minister, it will.

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