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Turnbull-Menzies comparison 'unfair'

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

Former prime minister John Howard says it's a bit unfair and premature for Malcolm Turnbull to be compared with Australia's longest serving PM Sir Robert Menzies.

Mr Howard said Mr Turnbull, who marked 12 months in the top job on Wednesday, could best emulate Menzies by increasing the government's majority at the next election.

Praising Mr Turnbull in parliament, Attorney-General George Brandis said he would rank with Sir Robert "and the great John Howard" as one of the great Australian prime ministers.

Mr Howard said Mr Brandis was a fine former colleague

"I think those sort of comparisons at this stage in Malcolm's career are a bit unfair and premature," he told ABC radio.

Mr Howard said this was like comparing a batsman who plays well in his first first class cricket match with Don Bradman.

He said Mr Turnbull had won the election and there was no reason he shouldn't govern for three years then be re-elected.

"The most immediate thing he can do in emulating Menzies is to successfully go to an election with a majority of only one and increase his majority," he said.

After the 1961 election Menzies ruled with a majority of just one but increased his majority to 21 at the 1963 election.

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