Liberal leadership spill: act two

Tony Abbott fights for his political life for the second time this year, as Malcolm Turnbull makes his move.

Malcolm Turnbull, with Julie Bishop in tow, has reportedly met with the Prime Minister to request a leadership ballot. With only the weekly Essential Research looming in the way of federal opinion polling this week, that seems as good an excuse as any to launch a new thread.

UPDATE (Two minutes later): Malcolm Turnbull has resigned from cabinet.

UPDATE 2 (10pm): Turnbull 54, Abbott 44.

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.

2,157 comments on “Liberal leadership spill: act two”

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  1. Darn,

    Paul “magic water” Sheehan.

    May as well listen to a drunk down the pub. The man is unhinged. How he keeps being paid is a symptom of why the MSM business model is broken. the man is a floating mass of canards, like the great Pacific gyre, only not as useful. I dealt with him a lot during the early days of electruicity privatisation in NSW (2007-8). Trust me, he is actually quite mad. Quite, quite mad. Believes his own rhetoric, unfortunately.

    As fulvio said, they’re on to the cats.

  2. Shorten indeed did out a sitting PM. Well really the PM outed himself. Regardless this may be one occasion where it could be a bitter-sweet victory.

  3. I wonder how long Malcolm’s gloss will last if Australia goes into recession. I also wonder how well Australians will tolerate the economic measures he knows he is going to have to introduce – such as raising the GST for example.

  4. [Abbott is a serial [redacted] and a demonstrated sociopath. He won’t take this lying down. He has Murdoch in his corner. This ain’t over.]

    I hop you are right, but think they’ll have the sense to look after him financially and get him to resign from politics. the main issue for the libs and turnbull are the right wing nut jobs howard filled the party with and the IPA/Quadrant culture of the party. if turnbull can bring the party back to the centre it’ll be good, but I think he now realises he needs to walk that side of the street to stay in power.

  5. Before i call it a night

    [Lateline ‏@Lateline
    Q: Do you fear that some might look to exact some kind of revenge from the back bench?

    @steveciobo: That’s a possibility]

  6. confessions #2034
    Confessions, please don’t call bemused a d!ck. A know that he calls you, Victoria, adrian and others ‘cultists’ (and I’ve argued with him before he shouldn’t) but you shouldn’t give him ammunition.

    If he keeps doing it, don’t react to it, just wear it on your sleeve like a Badge of Honour; like how conservatives call most of us lefties.

  7. 2053

    Will he try an Adam Giles (he needs a few more in numbers that Giles did to be able to do the full “he does not have the confidence of the House” routine Giles did) and stay in power and renegotiate the party leadership? Will Abbott try for an election?

    If Abbott really had a few days to go until he gets the full PM`s pension, I expect him to try and hang on for at least that long.

  8. Love the optimism of Labor supporters, but chances are not having an insane, hyper aggressive chimp as Shorten’s opponent will make things slightly more challenging.

    Still, Abbott is gone, so it’s a great day for anyone to the left of the fascist wing of the LNP.

  9. Darn,

    Australians put up with Neoliberalism, and in fact voted for it, in every election between 1990 and 2004, so I can see them sucking it up, especial;ly if the old boogiemen – unions, asylum seekers, terrorists – are trotted out. I can see it very easily. And it’s very depressing.
    people actually think Turnbull will be good if we have a downturn, “because he’s rich, like, dioncherknow”. As if he’s going to run around the streets of Glenmore Park throwing wads of cash onto people’s ratty front lawns!

    Sweet absent Jesus spare me, but people (minus Hadley, who is mad) really do think Turnbull is a great person. He will get the Nova/MMM vote, plus women who found Abbott ‘creepy’. I think the ALP is going in to a world of pain, but I’d be happy to proved otherwise.

  10. I said Bill Shorten was stalking Abbott, driving him nuts, maneuvering Abbott in Parliament, cutting off his legislation, denying him achievements, pushing him to extremes by refusing to fight in Abbott’s terms, getting under his skin in QT and laughing at him and showing no fear.

    This is a scalp for Shorten. Abbott was not rolled by Turnbull, he was despatched by Bill Shorten. Kill Bill, eh? ROFLMAO.

  11. Mr Bateman @ 2061

    that is one of the most exacting descriptions of our late unlamented leader that I have ever read.

    Well played, sir.

  12. Well, another positive thing to come out of this Leadership spill is we get too see how popular Malcolm Turnbull really is with the Australian electorate.

    Interesting times ahead.

  13. As we drift into recession, charm, charisma and eloquence will mean nothing to the poor devil who can’t pay the mortgage, or has to line up outside the Centerlink office.

    It’s the economy, stupid or not.

    If Turnbull goes to the poll too early, the blood on his hands schtick will work against him. If he goes later, unemployment and the economy will crucify him.

  14. That is two ALP leaders who did Abbott over. PMG pulled the prize right from under his nose, and when he finally got his arske in the PM’s chair, LOTO Bill Shorten makes his life Hell and gets him knifed by his own party.

    Oh, Schadenfreude is so so so sweet.

  15. Puff @ 2062

    I absolutely agree that Shorten got the better of Abbott. Screwed with his head big time by never, ever falling for his pathetic wedge attempts.

    That said, there is not the same certainty that Labor will win the next election. Labor will have to work a lot harder against someone who is, for the time being, popular with a large swathe of the Australian people. If only because he treats them as though they are at least 15 years older than Abbott treated them with his big boogy man scares.

    But Turnbull has a big challenge ahead. He will need to fight off the right-wing elements in his party who are inherently distrustful, down to downright hateful, of him. He will have to deal with all those who are dumped or demoted from his cabinet – especially if they supported him in the spill. He will have to deal with anyone who is not promoted despite supporting him (or even not) and who thinks they have been unreasonably overlooked.

    He will also have to deal with a worsening economy and ludicrous positions on climate change and marriage equality that his party has adopted. And he will have to deal with the consequences of his Fraudband, knowing as he must surely do, that it is the biggest obstruction to Australian innovation and development in the 21st century.

    On the other hand, he has an opportunity to do a John Howard and present an agenda for economic change that he can argue for before the next election, rather than have to wear the distrust built up by Abbott and co when they attempted to sneak the IPA agenda through the first budget after the election.

  16. [Oh, Schadenfreude is so so so sweet.]

    I think Julia Gillard would have had particular pleasure in tweeting her congratulations to turnbull this evening.

  17. [ but chances are not having an insane, hyper aggressive chimp as Shorten’s opponent will make things slightly more challenging. ]

    Yup, the ALP’s chances of winning the next election have undoubtedly been reduced by to-nights events. That does NOT however mean that they cannot win. See how the polling plays out over the next 3 months i think.

  18. Yes, I recall it too, as well as the supercilious smirk on his face as he delivered the line.

    And I remember the anger laden manner in which Bob Hawke cut him down to size and stopped his facetious nonsense in its tracks.

  19. Speaking of Bill Shorten and the Federal Opposition, Shorten is going to (slightly) reshuffle his frontbench, by taking the chance of a totally coincidental event of retiring Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll resigning from the shadow ministry.

    [Shorten in Labor pre-election reshuffle

    LABOR leader Bill Shorten is set to hold a minor frontbench reshuffle in preparation for the next election.

    QUEENSLAND senator Jan McLucas and Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll on Tuesday will advise the Labor caucus they will be stepping aside from the shadow ministry.]

  20. TPOF

    Yes, Labor’s chances in 2016 might take a hit.

    But it’s well worth it to be rid of Abbott and Credlin.

    As well as Abbott’s well listed policy and leadership incompetence, IMHO he is 99% responsible for the political vitriol and partisanship that has characterised the scene since he was let off the chain in December 2009.

    Turning every issue and aspect of politics and parliament into a bloody dogfight is his legacy.

    Perhaps Shorten and Turnbull will turn that boat around …. they will both play the game with basic civility and this may ensure that Abbott’s legacy of violence is short lived.

    Lest we don’t forget him.

  21. I know it will be harder for the ALP with whatisname gone, but I reckon they will give it a damn good shot.

    On the other hand, it is a good chance for the voters to learn that a well spoken, well dressed, charming and articulate Lib politician is still a destructive b’tard who will sell them into slavery to fund his new water-feature.

    Oh well, things are good though. The ALP got rid of their resident sociopath and the Libs have at least kicked their own resident sociopath out of the PM’s chair.

    I hope Abbott is on the phone to Rudd about getting admitted to the Exalted Order of Leeks and Whiteants. Fun times ahead,

  22. Safe to say that tonight was the final nail in the coffin for any respect I had for the ABC to report on political affairs. I know others have reached this point before me but that was it for me.

  23. The ABC will now be a drunk cheerleader for Turncoat and in time Bolt and Co will join the chorus, manipulation baby oh yeah.. 2 weeks.. just put money on it.

  24. Millenial 2075 – thanks for that – I can’t really remember it (maybe it was embargoed!).

    I have got a big day (and few weeks) coming up tomorrow, with lots of travelling. But right now I feel like the robot kid in “A.I.” – I don’t want to go to sleep – I want to savour this day.

  25. [@rupertmurdoch: Sad to see such a decent man as Abbott toppled. Now Turnbull needs a November election before Labor sacks Shorten.]

    I think this not-listening-to-Rupert-Murdoch thing might catch on.

  26. First Australian article written on Malcolm as PM:

    [Abbott v Turnbull: Malcolm promises ‘new style’

    Malcolm Turnbull last night said he would stick with existing Coalition policy on key issues such as climate change — and he expected the parliament to run its full term.

    Speaking after he won the leadership ballot from Tony Abbott, Mr Turnbull promised to respect the “broad church of the Liberal Party’’. While policies could be ­reviewed and adapted in a consultative manner, he explicitly supported the government’s direct action policy. He had been a member of the cabinet that endorsed it and it was “one that I support today’’.]

    Now Malcolm, it’s nice that you’re in a consultative mood, but if the effect of your ‘consultation’ is that you already know what you’re going to do before you talk to anyone; and that’s just to be Abbott with nothing more than a rubber mask with the word ‘moderate’ written on it; then you’ve seriously misunderstood why the Australian public prefer you to Abbott as the Prime Minister.

  27. Gillard ws the previous PM who had the temerity to assume the position without being ordained by the Vatican Knight Rupert.

    And that went swimmingly.

    But I get a big feeling that the sands have shifted under Murdoch’s feet, c.f. Queensland state election.

    It’s not that he’s not a factor anymore, he’s just a greatly diminished one.

  28. psyclaw @ 2080

    [IMHO he is 99% responsible for the political vitriol and partisanship that has characterised the scene since he was let off the chain in December 2009.]

    The most malign influence on the national political discourse in my lifetime. I am glad that he no longer has the power to poison the nation, although he may still remain to poison his own party. They deserve him.

  29. Regarding the economy, the chance of a recession should be reduced by tonight’s outcome as the main headwind for the economy was Tony and Joe, both gone.

  30. Norwester I hope that would never happen in these circumstances short of the lame-duck PM going along to Yarralumla with a majority of the HOR in train to swear their support!

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