VOTERS want to see Julie Bishop become the next prime minister.
That’s the verdict from fresh reader and political polls, research, and betting agency odds, as the chaos that’s engulfed Canberra reaches boiling point today.
But it’s unlikely the Foreign Minister will prevail when the party room votes between her, Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison at noon.
A snap Roy Morgan poll conducted yesterday found Ms Bishop would have a strong chance of defeating Labor’s Bill Shorten at the next election.
She led the Opposition Leader among both men and women, as well as in all age groups and mainland states, the poll found.
Overall, given the option of Mr Shorten as Ms Bishop, she had a 28-point lead in preferences and was best-placed to lead the Coalition to electoral victory.
A News Corp Australia reader poll also showed she was overwhelmingly the preferred leader of the Liberal Party, with 38 per cent of votes.
Punters also back her, placing a flurry of money behind the West Australian MP.
Betting odds have narrowed, with Ms Bishop firming as Sportsbet’s favourite to win the leadership spill today, paying $2.20 to Mr Dutton’s $2.30.
But while the public might like Ms Bishop, it seems her Canberra colleagues are less enthusiastic and politics will trump public preference.
Those very political games that have infuriated voters this week could doom the Coalition in the long run.
A senior source in Canberra told news.com.au that Ms Bishop lacked broad support in the Liberal Party and would have few supporters today.
“Her colleagues loathe her,” the parliament insider said.
A Labor MP also said the Foreign Minister had “no presence” in Parliament and held little-to-no sway over her colleagues.
In the coming weeks and months, the government will require a strong figure who can command discipline, stability and loyalty — and Ms Bishop wasn’t up to the task, the politician said.
Political commentator Peta Credlin, who served as Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, said Ms Bishop had no chance of winning over the party’s ultraconservatives.
“She is Malcolm Turnbull in a skirt,” Ms Credlin told 2GB. “It won’t change the polls.”
But Ms Credlin’s assessment might not be on the mark.
On who voters would prefer to see as PM, Roy Morgan found Mr Morrison was in “a virtual dead-heat” with Mr Shorten when it came to voter preference, while the Labor leader outpolled Mr Dutton considerably.
The News Corp Australia reader poll showed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a distant second to Ms Bishop as preferred leader on 28 per cent.
Mr Dutton and Mr Morrison are lagging much further behind.