Coalition MPs will have the chance to grill senior party officials today over the election this morning, with national campaign director Tony Nutt and strategist Mark Textor to join a partyroom meeting that will discuss the outcome.
With prime minister Malcolm Turnbull due to reveal his new ministry straight after the party room meeting, ministerial hopefuls will likely keep their anger over the close result in check, but outspoken conservative backbenchers such as South Australian senator Cory Bernardi and Tasmanian Eric Abetz, who have already been vocal in their criticism as the government staggered back into power over the last fortnight, are likely to be less reticent of the leadership duo.
Yesterday, the prime minister also pledged to listen to backbenchers over treasurer Scott Morrison’s Budget changes to superannuation, which many believe caused the most damage in the party’s heartland.
Senator Bernardi was a little more conciliatory saying “Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister has been unbelievably receptive and respectful of differences of opinion on policy issues, including in superannuation.”
House leader Christopher Pyne says the Cabinet will look at changes to superannuation.
“The overall policy remains the same, but in framing that final policy before it goes to legislation, there may well be some tinkering around the edges,” he told Channel Nine.
But former party president Shane Stone said the PM’s leadership team should accept responsibility for what happened, rather than the campaign managers.
“Let’s be clear. A campaign involves a collective — parliamentary leadership team — that would be Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop and George Brandis, and the director informed by his key lieutenants and the pollster,” he said.
While not too many changes as expected in the ministry, the Nationals are hoping for an extra seat in the 22-member cabinet after a strong showing in the election, with LNP MP Michelle Landry the first conservative to retain the Queensland seat in a close result.
The conservative wing of the party is also hoping to regain posts, and has been pushing for former PM Tony Abbott to be returned to the front bench.
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