As the results of today’s #Libspill emerge, and PM Tony Abbott lives to box on another day, Editor Paul Bugeja wonders how many more days the PM has left before he might find himself exiting stage “right”.
As I sit watching coverage of the #Libspill party room meeting currently occurring in Canberra, the faces of MPs as they entered spoke volumes.
“How did we come to this?” is the clear message in their eyes, even though the grinning masks they wear for the media try to indicate calm.
After gleefully riding the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor wave of the most dysfunctional period of government in living memory, the Coalition finds itself caught up in the same political swell (or is that swill?) that it must now try and wade its way out of in the 18 months leading to the 2016 election.
Whatever happens today (and by the end of writing this piece, we will no doubt know), the swell (and swill) will remain.
For all PM Tony Abbott’s supporters arguing he needs clear air and that he has heard the message from his backbenchers so will “change” accordingly, the electorate has stopped listening. Today’s Newspoll pushed the Coalition’s primate vote down 3 pts to 35 and Labor up to 41, with the 2PP vote showing the Coalition in cellar-dweller territory at 43 and Labor at 57.
No matter what the result of the #Libspill, their is a fracture in the current government that is unlikely to be healed.
And in fact the spill results have just come through – 39 in favour of the #Libspill and 61 against.
Abbott and his supporters will claim a resounding victory – the chief whip Phillip Ruddock said at the announcement of the #Libspill result that “The result is clear”.
Never more an ambiguous statement has been made, even though Ruddock obviously wants to project this as a positive for the Tony Abbott.
The clear result is that nearly 40% of the party have shown a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the PM and effectively said they support an unnamed candidate (OK, let’s be honest, Malcolm Turnbull) over Abbott as their leader.
And a result Labor will be happy as pigs in…well, swill about.
Today nothing has been resolved and it would seem that the momentum for #Libspill and change has merely slowed, not stopped.
Watch this space…