‘We can, we must’: Dutton’s election war cry

Peter Dutton is putting the Liberal Party on an election footing, saying the party “can win, must win” back government after just one term in opposition.

In an address to the Liberal Party Federal Council on Saturday, the Opposition Leader will outline how the party can beat the first-term Albanese Labor government at the election due by May next year.

It comes just days after Mr Dutton rolled the dice on one of the biggest electoral issues in history by making his nuclear energy policy the centrepiece of the election debate.

But it also follows recent polls where he has made gains on the Prime Minister and taken control of the political debate.

‘we can, we must’: dutton’s election war cry

‘We can, we must’: Dutton’s election war cry

The cost of living – taking in inflation, interest rates and high energy prices – are the major concern of voters and the area the Coalition is focusing on.

“The forthcoming election matters more than others in recent history. The stakes are higher,” Mr Dutton will tell the party faithful.

“The next election will not only define the next political term, it will define the future and fate of this nation.

“It will be about the kind of country Australians want their nation to be.”

In his speech, he will not only outline the differences in the policies between the government and the Coalition, but also those between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and himself.

“Now, I think Mr Albanese is a decent man who cares deeply about his country, but I believe he is completely out of his depth as Prime Minister,” Mr Dutton will say.

“But I believe he has compromised the honour of the office he holds.

‘we can, we must’: dutton’s election war cry

“The Prime Minister’s term has also been defined by the wrong priorities.

“In the last two years, Labor has made our economy more vulnerable. Our nation less safe and less secure. Our society less cohesive.

“Australians are worse off at every level.”

Mr Dutton said Mr Albanese, who narrowly defeated the nine-year term coalition at the 2022 election, had dedicated the first 16 months in power of trying to win the Voice referendum at a cost of $500m to taxpayers.

“In the last two years, Labor has made our economy more vulnerable. Our nation less safe and less secure. Our society less cohesive,” he will say.

“Australians are worse off at every level.”

‘we can, we must’: dutton’s election war cry

Mr Dutton has narrowed the gap since the election loss, edging out Mr Albanese as the preferred leader at recent polling – done before the nuclear debate – which showed support for Labor is decreasing on critical issues.

It’s the first time Mr Dutton has eclipsed Mr Albanese as the preferred prime minister in the Resolve Political Monitor, the surveys regularly conducted for the Sydney Morning Herald.

The findings published by the masthead show the Opposition Leader has gained a narrow lead over his opponent with 36 per cent of voter support compared to 35 per cent for Mr Albanese.

The Coalition has a lot of ground to make up after it lost 18 of its 76 seats at the last election – 10 to Labor, six of its blue ribbon seats to the teals and two inner-Brisbane seats to the Greens.

And despite losing the last year’s Aston by-election and a poor showing at the Dunkley by-election, Mr Dutton is showing signs of optimism.

He said the battle of ideas had already started and he called on the party “to find strength in our unity” to win back government.

“Do I think the Coalition can win the next election? We can and we must.

“Not because we seek to win for winning’s sake, but because we are here to do something for our country.

“We are here to get our country back on track.”

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