Malcolm Turnbull to be Australia’s Next Prime Minister


Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott earlier today in a battle for leadership of the incumbent center-right Liberal Party. He will soon become Australia’s fourth prime minister since 2013. With this momentum, Turnbull will likely call an early election in the next few months, and he should defeat opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten to solidify his hold on the office.

Few outside Australia understand just how consistently productive that country’s economy has been. It’s been a lead performer among developed markets for decades and hasn’t suffered a recession in an incredible 24 years. But that remarkable run is now in real trouble. Those circumstances would leave any prime minister vulnerable, and Tony Abbott’s populist stances on social issues and skepticism on climate change weren’t enough to buoy his poll numbers and prevent an insurrection from within his party.

Turnbull, a former investment banker with strong support from much of the country’s business elite, promises a less ideological and more pragmatic approach to government. We can expect less focus on issues of concern for social conservatives and more on getting the national economy rolling again, bucking the trend we see now in Europe and the United States. With the popularity boost that comes with victory, Turnbull will focus on tax reform.

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SOURCE: TIME, Ian Bremmer