Battleground chronicles the paradox of the Abbott prime ministership: the virtues of loyalty when pragmatism was required; strong social values at odds with community attitudes; and honesty when tactics and strategy were essential. All would bring him undone.
Tony Abbott came to office lauded as the most effective leader of the opposition since Whitlam, but the signs of an imperfect transition to the prime ministership would soon emerge. Why did Abbott fail to grow into the job to which he had aspired for decades? Backbenchers complained about the leader's office, the lack of access, front benchers leaked cabinet processes to the media.
His long apprenticeship in religion, journalism and political life prepared him for neither the mundane business of people management nor the commanding heights of national leadership. Public goodwill evaporated after a tough first budget the government failed to explain. Inside the Liberal party individual ambitions and a succession of poor polls produced increasing concern that the next election was lost. As a result, the horse named self-interest won yet again.
About the Author
Wayne Errington is the author of numerous books and articles about Australian politics. He is senior lecturer in politics at the University of Adelaide. Together they wrote the best-selling biography John Winston Howard, described by Laurie Oakes as 'The definitive book on one of the most important politicians of our time.' Battleground is the first time these authors have combined forces since and the result is equally powerful.
Dr Peter van Onselen is a contributing editor at The Australian and a presenter at Sky News. He holds the chair of journalism and is a professor in politics at the University of Western Australia.
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 277
Published: 18th November 2015
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.34