Poll harpoons O’Brien
Another poll has confirmed there is an answer to the lack of leadership in the Victorian Liberal Party.
Word around the upper echelons of the Victorian Liberal Party is that Michael O’Brien is on the way out. Factional power brokers opposed to the Ian Quick-led Michael O’Brien-supporting faction are seeing the end of the Opposition Leader whom some now term “Moby Dick”.
The Herald Sun’s leading story speaks volumes: “Victorians want Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien replaced with Matthew Guy”. The subheading, “With pressure mounting on Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien, a new poll reveals exactly who voters think should be leading the party at the next election.”
No doubt those in Ian Quick’s faction with a subscription to the Herald Sun might want to make a comment that they support Michael O’Brien. The multitude of comments and likes on comments indicates that nearly all readers agree with the Herald Sun, that O’Brien’s days are severely numbered and that Matthew Guy is the credible alternative.
Bruce. “Guy became a new person after relinquishing the leadership – and oddly enough, became the straight talking passionate pollie we wanted all along. Hopefully next time he continues to speak from the heart rather than try and pander to polling and media advice.”
Pem. “Yes Matthew Guy 100% . He is tougher now than he was before. He has a bit more mongrel in him now. Get rid of Michael O’Brien, Libs have no hope with him.”
Peter. “Matthew Guy! Anyone but the current one would have a shot. Why can’t the Libs see that?”
Greg. “Guy is ready this time.”
Douglas. “Read the room Michael.”
The Pontiff. “Matthew Guy is far more acceptable than Mr Invisible O’Brien.”
Tom. “Michael, put your personal ambition to one side and go. With all the damage the Andrews government has done to this once great state, imagine how much more they could in another 4 years. The next election is too important.”
Russell. “Michael who?”
Nina. “Mathew Guy appears more mature and learned from his past mistakes. He would make a fantastic Premier. Andrews had thrashed Victorian economy and pander to Unions and public servants. For Victorians sake I hope Mathew Guy put his hand up.”
The Herald Sun reports that, “One-fifth of voters have not heard of state Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien, and the vast majority say they would prefer to see predecessor Matthew Guy back in the job.”
The Herald Sun also stated that, “Among MPs he has been criticised as not being able to capitalise on the failures of the government, and running a dysfunctional office.”
One MP was quoted as saying, “The closer we get to 2022 the more people are getting nervous about the prospect of an election campaign.”
Party members know this is true and a widespread sentiment. The communications breakdown between the Opposition Leader’s office and the Secretariat has been especially disturbing. State Director Sam McQuestin has done the right thing by at least attempting to concentrate on priorities under very trying circumstances.
In the meantime Robert Clark seems to have gone into hiding, Ian Quick has retreated to his small circle of supporters in cyberspace while holding crisis talks with Georgie Crozier and Frank Greenstein and an almost palpable gloom overshadows the Secretariat and more particularly the Opposition Leader’s office.
If the tenor of the most recent Admin meeting is anything to go by, they would hear the entire edifice cracking.
One senior Party member said, “MOB losing his glasses means he cannot read the writing on the wall.”
There are, admittedly, a few divergent thoughts about who should replace Michael O’Brien. Both Peta Credlin and Jeff Kennett are not in a position to take on the role. The only name that is being mentioned with any force is Matthew Guy’s.
Matthew Guy has learned a lot from the past failings and issues. By all accounts he is a changed man. Some of his former political opponents have come so far as to concede he should be given a second chance.
State Liberal backbenchers are preparing to have a meeting to discuss the future and find a way out of the current impasse around the State leadership. When asked for more details, an insider revealed that it would be “soon”, “before State Council” and “far away from O’Brien’s eyes and ears.”
Party members are hopeful that a new arrangement can be hammered out among the backbenchers. State MPs know that their futures depend on getting rid of Michael O’Brien. Business and industry groups, federal MPs and grassroots Party members agree.