Why state opposition leader Michael O’Brien is ‘struggling to cut through’
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Victorian opposition has struggled to gain ground on the Andrews government.
A group of Liberal MPS have demanded a meeting with leader Michael O’Brien to discuss the party’s waning fortunes.
It comes after a Roy Morgan survey last month found the Andrews government’s approval rating jumped 7 per cent to 58.5 per cent, despite almost four months of harsh lockdown.
Senior lecturer in Australian politics at Monash University, Dr Nick Economou, says it “doesn’t really surprise him”.
“It is not uncommon, in times of crisis … for the incumbent to be advantaged,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.
“There really hasn’t been a platform for the opposition to attack the government.”
Dr Economou says Michael O’Brien isn’t the only opposition leader struggling to cut through.
“Mr O’Brien, like opposition leaders across Australia, whether they are Labor or Liberal, are finding it very difficult at the moment because the airwaves, quite frankly, are dominated by Prime Ministers and Premiers,” he said.
“With coronavirus going the way it is … it’s very hard for the opposition to make any headway.
“They really don’t have a great alternative to offer when it comes to what to do about coronavirus.”
But Dr Economou says there’s still hope for the Victorian Liberal Party.
“The coalition is not without hope at the next state election, even though, at the moment it looks like it’s a long way behind,” he said.
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Image: Vince Caligiuri / Getty