Two weeks before the fall of Tony Abbott, Rupert Murdoch tweeted “Abbott, far the best alternative”. The Liberal Party ignored his tweet and chose Malcolm Turnbull.
Rupert Murdoch’s declining influence is becoming plain to see.
At the last SA state election, the Adelaide Advertiser backed the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party lost.
At the last Victorian state election, the Herald Sun backed the Liberal Party and the Liberals lost.
In Queensland, the Courier Mail backed the Liberal-National Party at the last election and there was a record swing which tipped the LNP out of office.
At the last Federal election in 2013, the biggest two-party swings to the Coalition were in Victoria (+5.1%) and Tasmania (+9.4%). In both states the Murdoch role was relatively moderate. There were lesser swings to the Coalition in NSW (+3.9%) and Queensland (+1.8%) where the Murdoch papers, The Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail were the most vociferous.
None of this is surprising. In June this year Essential Research reported that the News Ltd metropolitan newspapers are the least trusted in Australia. Trust in the major metropolitan newspapers was as follows.
The Age 66%
The Australian 54%
Herald Sun 48%
Courier Mail 48%
Daily Telegraph 46%
The most trusted media organisation in the country is the ABC.
The two big issues for Australia in the last decade have been the Iraq War and climate change. Rupert Murdoch and his loyal editors have been on the wrong side of history on both issues.
Tweets by Rupert Mudoch and slavish support by his editors is proving counter-productive.
Rupert Murdoch’s political influence has always been exaggerated. It was claimed that he had the happy knack of always choosing winners. He is now showing a great capacity to back political losers like Tony Abbott.