I watched Malcolm Turnbull's extended interview last night with Tony Jones on the ABC - the video here - and believe he has the skills and charisma to defeat Labor at the next election. I also think that, even should Peter Costello eventually challenge for the leadership, Turnbull remains the better choice - Costello has already begun sniping from the sidelines. The key issue is for the Liberals to get behind the leadership and act cohesively to regain office.
The Labor Party - and its weakest major link - Wayne Swan - have good reason to be fearful of a rejuvenated Liberal Party with a young, successful and highly articulate leader. The Australian economy will be hit by the US sub-prime crisis. Many Australians who supported Labor at the last election after a decade of amazing prosperity and good government, felt comfortable and relaxed with a change. They will now begin to look hard at the emerging economic difficulties and the lack of sense in a party putting a hack politician like Swan in charge of the economy. The robotic Swan is not difficult to replace given his apparent discomfit at his current role - in Parliament he is too frequently red in the face and nervously looking at pre-prepared notes as he wades in on issues beyond his capacity. He is that chink in Labor's armour the Liberals should continue to attack.
All Australians should welcome the emergence of an effective opposition in Federal politics. Liberal Party supporters will want a lot more than that.