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After NSW, we're left with Hobson's choice for PM

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24.03.2019

Now that Gladys Berejiklian – described by Malcolm Turnbull as a "real liberal" – has been returned to power, the question becomes: what are the implications nationally of the Liberal Party’s solid performance in NSW?

Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a press call on Sunday following her election victory. Credit:Edwina Pickles

This election result provides a curate’s egg snapshot for the Coalition, good in parts, shocking in others.

Battle will now be joined federally between a Coalition leader who is having trouble gaining traction in the broader community and a Labor leader who is widely disliked. This is a Hobson’s Choice, in other words a choice between unappealing alternatives.

Bill Shorten’s approval numbers at 4.22 on a scale of 0-10 are the lowest of any opposition leader in a generation (apart from Andrew Peacock at the nadir of his fortunes), and even lower than Tony Abbott’s 4.29 when he was elected prime minister in 2013, according to the ANU’s authoritative election study 1987-2016.

Illustration: Jim PavlidisCredit:

That assessment has not shifted in the meantime in various opinion surveys, including this newspaper’s IPSOS poll. Significantly, the Opposition Leader has been weak among Labor-leaning progressive voters, many of whom tended to favour Malcolm Turnbull.

That this level of dislike and mistrust is insufficient to cruel Shorten’s electoral prospects tells you more than you need to know about the sort of dilemma facing electors in 2019.

This lies between an unpopular........

© Canberra Times