Jul 8, 2016

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Election; Labor Caucus meeting; Pyne19

BEN FORDHAM: To discuss all of this, Christopher Pyne from the Liberal Party in Adelaide and Anthony Albanese from the Labor Party joining us from Canberra. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Ben, good morning Anthony, and congratulations Anthony on your victory.

FORHAM: Oh, you’re still congratulating each other.

ALBANESE: And to you, Christopher.

PYNE: Thank you! Thank you very much. We’re back.

FORDHAM: Righto. Let’s get back to short and sharp this morning because we’ve got a lot to get through. Christopher, looks like the Coalition will get enough seats for government but it’s not a resounding win, is it?

PYNE: Well Ben, we’ve won the election. We’ve got 74 seats in the bank and very likely to win Herbert, Capricornia and Flynn. We’re even an outside chance still in Hindmarsh and Cowan so we will form a majority government and we’re also making arrangements with some of the crossbenchers for supply and confidence so we will have a solid government not unlike the victory of Bob Hawke in 1990 when of course he defeated Andrew Peacock. So we’ve won again. That’s our sixth victory out of eight in the last 20 years. You’d have to say that we are an election winning machine in the Liberal Party. Labor has won one election out of the last eight and there’s been one hung parliament –

FORDHAM: You might be sounding a little bit cocky there, Christopher. Anthony, let me ask you; Bill Shorten has been doing a victory lap around the country over the past week. Has someone told Bill Shorten that he didn’t actually win? You’re supposed to do the victory lap when you win.

ALBANESE: Well, he’s been visiting seats where we did win, where we took seats off the Coalition, and not withstanding Christopher’s quite amazing spin there, the election campaign was a disaster for Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition. Here we are, almost a week later, we still don’t know if they will be in a position to form a majority government or not.

FORDHAM: Christopher, for the last few years the Coalition has been critical of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. Last night you started talking about the need to move on from the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott years. What does all of that mean? Are you now lumping in Tony Abbott with all of that as well, are you?

PYNE: No, I’m just talking about the period since John Howard was Prime Minister. We had eleven years of very stable government under John Howard. Since that time we’ve obviously had a lot of change and I think the public are thoroughly sick of the revolving door of Australian politics. The spin since election night from Bill Shorten, Ben has all been about holding Anthony Albanese at bay for the Labor Party leadership. The truth is Labor lost the election. The Liberal Party won it. It’s our sixth victory out of the last eight. We are the Hawthorn of Australian politics and what Bill Shorten has been trying to do is make sure that Anthony Albanese doesn’t take him on as Labor leader. And Bill should man up and admit the fact that he lost the election.

FORDHAM: Now listen. Anthony, Bill Shorten has called a snap meeting of the Labor caucus today. Now, under the rules that were brought in by Kevin Rudd, the leadership position is automatically thrown open for nominations following a loss. There have been rumours that you are considering. You’re not going to be throwing your hat in the ring, clearly.

ALBANESE: No, I’m not. The leadership will be declared open today. Nominations will open. They’ll close next week in accordance with the rules but there will only be one candidate. That candidate will be Bill Shorten and Caucus today will give him the authority to negotiate with the crossbenches on behalf of the Labor Party in that ensuing period before he’s formally endorsed next week.

FORDHAM: There are also question marks Christopher over Malcolm Turnbull’s future after a pretty ordinary election result. I just wanted to plant this seed with you because we all remember 2007 and part of the marketing genius the Labor Party came up with was Kevin07. This is something that could be switched possibly into Pyne19. Have you thought about making the move for the next election in 2019? There it is.

PYNE: Well, Ben, I am a very loyal team man. I strongly support Malcolm Turnbull going forward as Prime Minister, and I look forward to being part of his team as a member of the leadership group and the Cabinet.

FORDHAM: But it does have a ring to it, doesn’t it? Pyne19? Albo? I mean, you know about these things. It worked for Kevin07.

ALBANESE: It certainly does mate and it’s hit Canberra. These are on so many Coalition windows of their offices as I came into the studio this morning. They were everywhere. Everywhere. And you know what? They’ve got little flags down here as well, little flags for Pyne19.

PRESENTERS & ALBANESE: [chanting] Pyne19! Pyne19! Pyne19!

PYNE: You’re too kind.

PRESENTERS & ALBANESE: [chanting] Pyne19! Pyne19! Pyne19!

PYNE: You’re too kind.

LISA WILKINSON: And Christopher! Here’s something that you can use. Did you know that the Coalition has won six of the last eight elections? Did you know that?

PYNE: It’s true. It’s true!

ALBANESE: Get off the talking points, Christopher. That was the problem.

PYNE: Whether you win by one goal or eight goals, you still win the grand final.

FORDHAM: You’ve got to stop Bill doing his ticker-tape parade, mate. He lost.

PYNE: It’s pathetic.

ALBANESE: Got to get rid of the talking points from this mob. No wonder people turned off them. No wonder.

FORDHAM: Gentlemen – the election’s over. Take a chill pill. We’ll talk to you next week.

ALBANESE: See you next week.

PYNE: Thanks for having us.

FORDHAM: That was Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne and Christopher – the t-shirt is in the mail. Don’t you worry because we know that you’ll wear it. You’ll wear it every single night when you go to bed.