“First of all, may I say I accept full responsibility for this very disappointing result. It’s not clear yet whether the Coalition will be returned but there is no doubt that a significant proportion of voters rejected our jobs-and-growth policy platform which, in hindsight, I concede we might have explained better.
My thanks go to Tony Nutt for his work supervising our campaign. I sincerely wish him well in his new career, whatever that may be.
Our campaign theme, which focussed on the Turnbull Team, rather than the Coalition Team, might have been sharper and more focussed. Perhaps having a tradesman suggest that the best motivation he had for voting for the Coalition was to “stick with the current mob for a while” might not have done much to inspire voters with enthusiasm for our cause.
And, of course, I apologise for virtually ignoring our great strength on border protection during the campaign. Why I did that has everything to do with me. Had I been more humble, I would have been able to cite it loud and often. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because stopping the boats was an Abbott achievement.
Notes from Election Day: James Allan, Peter O’Brien, Tati Sofaris, Michael Copeman, Daryl McCann, John Izzard and more on the Turnbull debacle
Same with union corruption, now that I think about it. Because it was Abbott who set up the Royal Commission, I just couldn’t bring myself to use those revelations of thuggery and gross malfeasance against Bill Shorten. This probably has something to do with the psychological traumas of my early life and I will be working on this with a professional counsellor.
In retrospect, it also wasn’t a good idea for Mark Textor to be so frank and open in expressing his contempt for the party’s traditional base, those voters he said “didn’t matter”. As with Tony Nutt, I wish him well in his next job.
To my predecessor, Tony Abbott, I offer my apologies. It seems that, after all, I could do no better than he might have done.
As is customary in these circumstances, I now call on my parliamentary colleagues to pass judgement on my leadership. Regrettably their numbers will be much fewer than we might have hoped.
As soon as the composition of the new parliament is clear, I will call a leadership spill.
I intend to stand and, further, I urge my party to honour our party’s conservative heritage by once again endorsing failure.
Thank you and goodbye. Whoops! I meant ‘good night.’