Top 10 Memes of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott

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By Vittorio Hernandez | January 3, 2013 9:54 AM EST

Last year, 2012, was a crucial year in the political life of Opposition leader Tony Abbott because of challenges to his leadership and even interpersonal skills that may cost him his dream to be Australia's prime minister in 2013.

The most obvious manifestation of the challenges are the substantial shift in voter preference in the last 12 months from him as the preferred prime minister back to nemesis, Julia Gillard, although the Coalition continues to enjoy a slight lead over Labor, according to latest surveys.

The substantial loss of voter confidence in Mr Abbott's leadership ability is said to be his own making, political observers said, citing the misogyny issues hurled against him, his failed warnings about the impact of the carbon tax on the Australian economy and the general perception that he is just negative with no alternative policies to offer Aussies.

The best ways to capture these sentiments are the popular memes that have appeared on social media. Although comic in nature, the memes carry grains of truth that political leaders who desire to serve the public must take cognizance of.

This perceived weakness of Mr Abbott in lacking policies, except to oppose all measures proposed by the Labor party, is captured in these three memes.

Aware of his plummeting political fortunes, Mr Abbott, in his New Year message, insisted that the Coalition is the positive choice for Aussies as he promised to build a powerhouse economy via lower taxes, more efficient government and more productive enterprises that would create more jobs, lead to higher salaries and improved services for Australian policies.

More of these promises are contained in this video.

However, Australian voters may by now be more wary of Mr Abbott's promises once he becomes prime minister because it could even reverse gains made by some good Labor policies. This meme is just a sample of what he may cancel once in power.

The bigger issue for many Aussies is the Opposition leader's negative image, damaged mainly by accusations not only by Ms Gillard but also other powerful female authority figures, as portrayed in these next three memes.

The talk about his misogyny recently cropped when a female student who beat him in a University of Sydney student council election a few decades ago, recalled Mr Abbott punching a wall just beside the face of his female opponent. Of course, Mr Abbott's apparent memory gap surfaced despite several witnesses who corroborated the female student leader's account of the events, prompting the creation of this meme.

Such an attitude toward women would most likely get this retort from another powerful woman.

However, Mr Abbott's fate has not been sealed by these charges. As one political commentator stated, Australia's next prime minister is difficult to predict at this stage because both Mr Abbott and Ms Gillard have almost equal chances of winning based on how the Australian economy would perform in the coming months.

With changing voter preference, Aussies may be surprised that the winner could be just by a hairline.

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