What people expect is for a leader of the major party to 'have a safe pair of hands' so they can be confident if or when they become Prime Minister they will make the correct decisions and not do anything stupid.
The punters completely lost confidence in Tony Abbott as having a safe pair of hands. Whether it was awarding Prince Phillp an honour or saying he would shirtfront Putin Abbott simply became an embarrassment. When you add his lying about what he would not cut or do in office then his drastic drop in polling was very explainable. Thus Abbott was ALWAYS going to lose this election big time.
When Turnbull took over hid great surge in popularity came about because he was seen as a non-politician. This unravelled as people realised they were wrong on this.
Another important part was Turnbull being seen as a safe pair of hands. An adult was now in charge. People were confident no stupid decisions would be made. Just as importantly people were confident that no matter how stupid people such as Peter Dutton or Barnaby Joyce would sat with Turnbull in charge he would over-rule them.
Now they are not so sure. Moreover if the political strategy was to move the topic to Asylum seekers and win back votes then clearly that hasn't worked. All the while Turnbull has been uttering Abbott like phrases which no-one believes and acting like a very weak leader. Indeed the Liberal strategy is so inept I was wondering if it was dreamt up by Steve Kates.
They have highlighted Turnbull weak points very adroitly! At least they have 5 weeks to rectify this. If they do not get back to having Turnbull having a safe pair of hands then the ALP could well win the election!