Liberal leadership: round two

Brendan Nelson has thrown the Liberal leadership open to a party room vote tomorrow morning. A source quoted by the ABC calls the move a “suicide mission” and “predicts Malcolm Turnbull has the numbers to take the leadership”. Nelson defeated Turnbull in the first round five days after the November 24 election by 45 votes to 42.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

520 comments on “Liberal leadership: round two”

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  1. Just noticed – tonight is a full moon and everything is behaving just like it.

    Brenda throwing the dice, world stock markets in confusion etc.

    A busy night for allbull with the phone glued to his ear.

  2. None of this matters to me. Because we now have a Liberal-National Government somewhere in Australia, anyways GO BRENDAN NELSON. I predict Nelson will win by 11 votes!

  3. Who really cares, everyone knows that Mr. Rudd will win the next election and most likely increasing there seats. All libs that disagree please post as i will save them then post them back to show how you really don’t know what you are talking about. GP. please.

  4. Honest John, I do hope Brendon wins, but even more that Malcolm does. It really doesn’t get any better than either outcome, frankly, because neither can unite the party. While the LNP continue with this lurching from populist stunts to internal warfare, they are cactus as an effective opposition. Not good for our system of gov’ the medium to long term, but handy in the short term, for Labor to get some real stuff into the outcomes pipeline.

  5. Nelson wins is a vote for his guts and determination to take on all challengers.


    Nelson wins is a vote for more indifference from the electorate.

    Turnbull wins is vote to take Australia in to the future.


    Turnbull wins is a vote to more Liberal Party infighting.

    You decide!

  6. Honest John – doesn’t bother me either. Labor still has 8 governments in power and more importantly in Victoria and federally.
    It’s Malcolm, Malcolm’s the one.

  7. It really does not matter who wins, the issue is the winner needs to win big. Not 40 ish – 40 ish.

    Brenda cannot get a workable majority – Talcum may be able to.

    Otherwise we have Howard – Peacock – Howard – Peacock etc. etc. MkII

  8. Turnbull is a vote of more of the same.I have not seen anything from him to make me believe that he will get a preferred PM into the 30’s.

  9. GG. Baked beans and jam for all- vote Brendon; cassoulet with a nice chardonnay and a selection of cheeses with quince paste and a nice sticky for all – vote Malcolm.

  10. Good Luck Malcolm Turnbull! Bring the Liberal Party back to the centre , especially on social issues and you will be back in Government quicktime!

  11. [Rumor on 7.30 Report Abbott may have done a deal with Turnbull and contest deputy position. Now that will be hilarious.]

    Well in the 4 Corners bio on Turnbull from a few weeks ago Abbott did say that Turnbull was “destined for big things”. By that I guess Abbott meant making him Deputy Leader.

  12. Harry,

    My take is that Malcolm loses, goes to the back bench and waits. It will then be a matter of time.

    Do you seriously think Nelson is going to turn things around.

  13. It is about time. Kudos for Nelson for having the courage to call the spill amidst all the infighting.

    Brissendon on the 7.30 report said that apparently Nelson gave one of his best and most impassioned speeches ever.

  14. Well, I’ll still claim it: “Frist!” … this should have been post #1, but William’s sense of humour and history must be in idle tonight.

    There is no question that Turnbull will win tomorrow.

    How can the Libs possibly elect Mr. 16%?

    I don’t care whether he’s going to change the Lib gay marriage guidelines or go in harder on the ETS, they can’t elect someone so unelectable (electable, that is, at the only poll that counts).

    Gotta give Brenda this, though: he’s got more guts than Costello ever dreamt of having. “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! Aaaaaaarggggh!”

    Very reminiscent of Beazley’s failed attempt at snookering Rudd. Only… Beazley gave Rudd a week. Brenda’s so unsure of himself that he probably thinks 14 hours is too much.

  15. Heavens, GG. You must have seriously misread me. I was taking the p**s out of both outcomes, though at least Brendon has taken on the spill, and as I said before, more than Costello ever did.

  16. Am I the only one who thinks Turnbull won’t contest this and Nelson will be re-elected unopposed (or with some token opposition)?

    If so, time and place people, I’ll predict that here. I am, at this stage, unwilling to offer a hat to eat. But that’s because I like all of my hats, and one can never rule out the fact Turnbull is ever so slightly ambitious.

  17. [Am I the only one who thinks Turnbull won’t contest this and Nelson will be re-elected unopposed (or with some token opposition)?]


    Turnbull is not Peter Costello. He knows how to fight.

  18. No 34

    Who knows, from what Brissendon was saying many Lib MPs were impressed with his speech at the emergency meeting. He may well survive.

    But frankly this had to happen. The party has treated him appallingly and it has to be settled once and for all.

  19. You could be right, Max @ 30. Malcolm could be smart and not contest, but I suspect his ego won’t let him, and the rest of the rabble, stuck in their “leader/messiah rescue us from this unnatural position of being in opposition, and return us to our natural position of ruling” mode, will vote him in. Good luck to you with that.

  20. 30 Max, I think you may be right. Turnbull doesn’t need to challenge yet… but then he might as well throw his hat into the ring.. you don’t need to win the first time you challenge – Keating didn’t, and even Fraser lost to Snedden in the first challenge (in fact Snedden did the same thing as Nelson is doing in 75; it worked the first time, but didn’t kill off Fraser).

  21. BB. Back on the other thread, I suggested that Costello may actually knife Brendon due to the impact of the spill on the launch of the Great Book.

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