Informit article: Dead centre

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In the five months since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister of Australia, one concept more than any other has dominated the political discussion: the concept of the ‘centre ground’. In the mainstream press especially, the notion that politics has a ‘centre’ and that Turnbull has to move towards it in order to win the next election (and that he is better equipped to do so than his erratic predecessor) has attained the status of an iron law. In his interview with Kerry O’Brien for the ABC a few months ago, Paul Keating framed the challenge with his usual flair: ‘He’s trying to take the Liberal Party back to the centre. Can he take on the right wing of his own party, or is he going to be stuck with a Looney Tune party?’

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