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. Not sure what is wrong with having an experienced banker as PM, thankfully he will know more about money and how to manage it than the previous idiot who by the looks of it had never worked a calculator

  2. Yesterday, (Monday) was my daughter’s birthday. She’s too young to know about politics. Its great that Abbott got dumped on her birthday. She might not know it, but it was a fantastic b’day present.

  3. Abbott and Hockey both had to go. They have done too much damage to the economy. Not to mention the social fabric. It is good that they are gone.

    Turnbull may get a popular bounce but their policies are crap and there is a substantial angry bunch who resent the change. In that respect it is far more divisive than the Gillard transition in 2010 was.

    The nationals will help make this worse by extending instability on the overall coalition for a few more days. The ABC gave Hastie a big free plug tonight and should extend the same courtesy to other Canning candidates.

    I am glad Abbott is gone. Good riddance. Also good riddance to Hockey. Worst PM and Treasurer ever. A quinella of ineptitude and damage to our country.

    I am confident that Labor can beat this deeply divided Coalition government.

  4. Norwester

    Which is why Bill Shorten and his team don’t need to panic, just stick to the current strategy, Turnbull is wedged between what many of his supporters want and the existing nutty policies of the past two years.

  5. Abbott does not need 30 supporters to block Turnbull, only 15 and then he can say that Turnbull does not have a majority in the HoR. With 18 (the 3 extra are to account for Katter, McGowan and Palmer) Abbott could technically then advise on the appointment of Shorten instead.

  6. I noticed my local member Melissa Price walking next to Abbott. She is the wee lassy with the red hair on his left. I hope she loses her seat in a shock swing.


  8. Canning has now become interesting in a new way. Last minute messaging *the Vibe* could swing it a couple of percent either way. Question is who is going to be better, faster and more efficient at getting out their meme.

  9. The campaign raised by Labor and the unions in Canning has been an outstanding success. We’ve reached voters by focusing on ChAFTA and its related themes – jobs, wages and penalty rates.

    But we’ve also spoken to voters about our deepest values – about the freedom and equality of Australian workers. We’ve talked about the freedom workers have to withdraw their labour, to organise and to bargain and about the legal protections for these rights.

    We’ve talked to voters about the way in which ChAFTA will bring indentured and indebted workers in great numbers into this economy, and how this will break the promise on which the Commonwealth was founded and on which we have all relied.

    There is no doubt at all this has registered with voters and been reflected in the tracking polling carried out for the Liberals. This issue is strong enough to shift Liberal votes in significant numbers and has been propelling Labor to an unheralded win on Saturday. It is completely natural home-ground for the Unions and for Labor.

    So, I think we can claim a share of the victory in Canberra tonight. By fighting on this fundamental issue we have helped secure the sacking of a depraved and ruthless reactionary.

    But this campaign is really only just beginning. We will not rest until this issue has been raised across the country and until indentured work is once again abolished in this Commonwealth.

  10. Millennial @2091:

    [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.]

    The mask is enough – after all, John Howard won 4 elections. Apparently, Australians love right-wing, mean-spirited policies – but having someone like Abbott as PM made too many Australians look in the mirror and think about what they’d voted for.

    Now that Moderate Mal is the leader, we can all just go to sleep and let the transformation of our country into America-lite continue…

  11. [2120


    By doing this work and reporting it here you have inspired me and no doubt many others. Effing excellent work.]

    Cheers Norwester 🙂

    It’s also absolutely true this would never be possible without the unions – the CFMEU, the MUA, United Voice, the AMWU and others – who have put their resources into the campaign. The people I’ve met have been very impressive – young, smart, articulate, dedicated and well-organised. I’m very proud to be involved with them.

  12. I’m not too worried yet about Malcolm2. That is one deeply divided party room. Sure he’ll get the puff piece treatment in some quarters. Beatable.

  13. Both Keven Rudd and Julia send congratulations tweets whilst Tony goes missing

    Ms Gillard
    Julia Gillard ‏@JuliaGillard 5h5 hours ago

    Congratulations to Malcolm Turnbull on becoming Prime Minister – a great honour and responsibility. JG

    Mr Rudd
    Kevin Rudd ‏@MrKRudd 49m49 minutes ago

    Best wishes to Malcolm Turnbull becoming Australia’s 29th Prime Minister Huge job with huge challenges.Therese and I wish he and Lucy well.

  14. 2119

    Please pass my thanks onto the team.

    [We’ve talked about the freedom workers have to withdraw their labour, to organise and to bargain and about the legal protections for these rights. ]

    The right to collective bargaining in the workplace is one of our most precious and civilising. Never give that one up.

  15. Itep,

    Dear Tony,
    Condolences on another failure. But you must be used to them by now. The best tonic is to get straight back on the horse. Errr, maybe not a good metaphor. You looked like a sack of spuds the last time you did that.
    i suggest you get a job, There is this great website called ‘Seek’. i saw a job for trolley collectors in Alice Sprigs.

    Chin up,

  16. Morning all. Birds are singing, Liberals deeply divided, dawn of a new day. Just realised I predicted Turnbull by 8 to 10 vores and got that right.

    Malcolm has won the battle, but the war has just started. Abbott and Hockey have left him an economy in ruins, with social divisions as deep as the ones in cabinet. Speaking of which, there must surely be a clean out. Loyalty is one thing, but Abbott kept far too many duds in cabinet. His first loyalty should have been to the nation, in which case Hockey, Dutton, Brandis and some of the bench warmers we never hear from should have gone a year ago.

    This change will make it harder for Labor to win office. But the Libs face huge challenges to work as a team. Economic reform has ground to a halt, and unemployment and growth stats are grim. Turnbull needs to make changes, and get both his own party and the Senate to agree with them. That will be quite a challenge.

    Putting aside economics, perhaps the first real test of Turnbull’s leadership will be marriage equality. If Turnbull is to be true to his principles he should bring on a conscience vote now. Abbott stalled on it, and there is no credible reason to delay a reform that even catholic Zireland has already passed. Have a good day all.

  17. Last nights events were like the final episode of a soap opera,
    leaving the questions:
    Will Tony hide under the blankets in his bunk in the boy’s dorm, sucking his thumb and thinking “I hate him, I hate him, I hate him,” or will he get up or will he get up and whiteant the new recycled white knight of the Libs.
    Will the wicked harpie of the east (Credlin) be sacked.
    Will the wicked harpie of the west beforever a bridesmaid tune in next week for the next exciting episode of Game of Tone’s

  18. Speaking of the ABC. That was the worst political coverage of a major event that I have ever seen.
    A total embarrassment and an indication of how low standards have sunk.

  19. I should have added
    Will Dutten be unbuttoned.
    Will Hockey still be cocky

    Seriously though it will be harder for Labor to win but with efforts like those from briefly and by concentrating on policies Labor should triumph.

    After all Turnbull is hated by most of his party.

  20. A sensible move by the Liberals, Turnbull is more moderate and reasonable than Abbott and more in tune with the times on gay marriage and climate change, he will offer a similar leadership style to David Cameron who was recently re-elected as UK PM. He was the Liberals only real chance to stay in power at the election, though he still has much work to do

    Meanwhile, after the humbling of both Rudd and now Abbott Julia Gillard is hospitalised for schadenfreude

  21. I’m trying to work out whether comedians will be struggling for material now Abbott and (likely) Hockey are on their way out the door. Although I feel Turnbull’s tendency to take himself extremely seriously may leave the window open.

  22. [1903
    Sustainable future

    it is hard being a bleeding heart, but I hope abbott has people to look after him. he went into a deep depression after howard lost. he’s not mentally stable, and this is a massive blow to someone who should never have been promoted so far over his pay-grade. ]

    Nah, long overdue that he suffers a taste of that ‘tough love’ shit he has so gleefully dished out to others his whole life, with no care to the resulting human carnage. Especially after he has gutted support services for these kinds of problems.

    Those who give no quarter should get none.

    Dura lex, sed lex.



    My heart bleeds for Abbott’s near miss on his pension.]

    He could always go out and get a job.

  23. “Uhlmann: Abbott stopped the boats, killed the Carbon Tax, ended the Mining Tax.”

    Will that be his epitaph in the Museum of Australian Democracy?

  24. Good morning Dawn Patrollers! Well who would have thunk? And I just see on ABC24 that Abbott even squibbed the press after his defeat.

    Mark Kenny starts off by telling us that the Coalition is riven by division. Ain’t it wonderful!
    Peter Hartcher looks ahead at how Turnbull and Shorten will manage things. He said Abbot never cut it as a unifying Prime Minister.
    The SMH editorial says Turnbull got it right by saying we want “advocacy not slogans”. Hey, that’s not a bad slogan!
    Tom Allard puts it that a disastrous first budget is what set off Abbott’s death spiral.
    Peter Martin says that Turnbull’s doctrine will be telling the truth about the economy. More to the point, he’ll be nothing like Abbott!
    Lenore Taylor sees Turnbull’s big task is to balance the party and the public.
    Lenore goes on to say that there are three things we need to know about Turnbull.
    Turnbull’s challenge is to not scare off his own party.
    Michelle Grattan – Turnbull arrives with both charisma and baggage. In the article she described Abbott as an accidental leader who never made the transition from opposition to government.
    Bob Ellis – the last hours of Abbott.

  25. Section 2 . . .

    Peter Reith writes on why Abbott was under continual pressure.
    James Massola has a stab at what the new ministry might look like.
    The AFR editorial says that yesterday’s coup was the result of a crying need for effective leadership.
    Rob Burgess tells us that the Liberal Party has failed its own fundamental test of good government.
    Paul Bongiorno – Why Abbott must go quietly into the night.
    Malcolm Turnbull’s secret weapon – Lucy.
    The rise and fall of political brawler Tony Abbott. How he stopped the votes.
    Gareth Hutches wonders what will happen to Joe Hockey.
    “View from the Street” written just before the ballot. He promises an autopsy tomorrow.
    Turnbull’s test – there can be no grand economic plan without climate action.

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