Labor’s big win in Victoria has the NSW Liberals nervous
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison will hold a crisis meeting with Victorian MPs on Monday in the wake of a shock state election result which some in the Coalition have said means defeat at a federal level is now a certainty.
The Victorian "Danslide" has even prompted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to label her Coalition government the "underdog".
She also suggested she did not want Mr Morrison to hit the NSW campaign trial in March.
The Coalition would lose at least six federal seats in Victoria if Saturday night's results were replicated at next year's federal poll.
In NSW, the swing of about 5 per cent to Labor would mean the Coalition would lose four federal seats - Gilmore, Robertson, Banks and Reid.
One MP said the Victorian results were just another indication "we're done".
The Daily Telegraph understands internal polling in marginal seats before Malcolm Turnbull was toppled suggest the Coalition was just ahead but that lead had since slipped.
Last night's Newspoll confirmed the dire straits the Coalition is in with its primary vote falling for the third straight poll to 34 per cent.
While Mr Morrison's personal approval rating increased slightly, the two-party preferred split remains 55-45 in Labor's favour.
The Victorian swing would hand Labor five seats - East Hills, Upper Hunter, Monaro, Coogee and Tweed - at the March state election.
The Berejiklian government is also facing a tight contest against the Greens in Lismore.
Ms Berejiklian yesterday agreed the Victorian result proved the NSW Liberals had a tougher than first expected fight ahead.
And this is despite Labor recently losing leader Luke Foley in a MeToo scandal over allegations of inappropriately touching an ABC reporter while drunk. He vehemently denies the accusations, but stood aside and will not even contest his own seat at the poll.
"I'm used to being the underdog," Ms Berejiklian said. "That's me. I'm used to that. What I'm also used to is staying focused."
When asked if she needed any help from the Mr Morrison to secure victory she said: "I have never relied on anybody outside NSW and I don't intend to start now."
NSW had always stood "on its own two feet", she added.
The new NSW opposition leader Michael Daley said he was encouraged by the Victorian result but "there's still a huge mountain to climb".
"If I'm to become premier I have to win more seats than opposition has ever won," he said. "Labor Party has to win seats we've never held and we have to achieve a swing that's never been done before.
"So, the Premier can claim whatever status she wants.
"All I'm going to do is get out and meet people, focus on people in the suburbs, people in the regions, ordinary citizens this government has just forgotten about."
Ms Berejiklian said the political shenanigans in Canberra with the ousting of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had impacted on the views of NSW voters. "People don't like to see instability. People don't like to see politicians focused on themselves, we know that," she said.
The NSW government is currently being heavily criticised for its record on law and order after a shocking incident where a seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a public toilet by a convicted sex offender on parole. The Daily Telegraph has revealed there were several opportunities to revoke his parole before the attack, including when a woman complained to police he was stalking her.
Federal Coalition MPs were yesterday criticising the decision to axe Mr Turnbull and conceded it contributed to the disastrous Victorian results.
But Health Minister Greg Hunt, who was a part of the push to overthrow Mr Turnbull and would risk losing his own seat if the state election results were replicated, refused to attribute the defeat to the leadership turmoil.