Conservative media guru, former Abbott Chief-of Staff Peta Credlin, is jubilantly now expecting Malcolm Turnbull to be outed as Prime Minister within days.
The bumbling, usually unsmiling would-be assassin of Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, when asked for his take on the events of the day, could scarcely wipe an awkward grin from his face.
Leadership contender Peter Dutton, who also rarely smiles, received surprisingly strong support with 35 votes to Turnbull’s 48, because of his conservative leanings.
Several Prime Ministerial leadership ballots in recent years have shown that it takes a second poll to unseat an incumbent leader, suggesting that Malcolm Turnbull’s present reprieve is likely to be temporary.
But can the agitators for change be sure that political events will play-out in the coming months, prior to the next election, as they plan? After all it is party members, not the paparazzi, who risk their careers at every election.
It is a fact of political life that party disunity is suicidal. Unless there is substantial consensus, the changes a new leader initiates may aggravate rather than diminish party turmoil. Are party members prepared to lose their seats if there is a swing against them?
Peter Dutton is one who could easily lose his seat at the next election. I believe he is a man of integrity, but he holds the Queensland seat of Dickson with the narrowest of margins, lacks charisma and is seen by many as inflexible and harsh in dealing with delicate immigration issues.
Foremost amongst possible contenders in a leadership spill is the forceful and articulate Treasurer Scott Morrison. If elected, he is likely to be a more ruthless, less conciliatory leader than Turnbull. Perhaps this is what is needed.
The “get Turnbull” movement is gaining momentum. Despite protestations to the contrary, the chief insurgent is sixty-year old former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who changes tack from day to day to create embarrassment for the PM.
But is he still a well man? Over the last decade his speech has become more hesitant, his logic more flawed, and he is prone to stupid and insensitive gaffes. He now has mask-like facies, grimaces, and rolls his tongue in a disconcerting manner. Furthermore some video clips show an intermittent nodding head tremor and his gait is more laboured.
Might these features be indicative of the onset of post-boxing Parkinson’s Disease? He has a right to privacy, but as he continues to place himself in the public-eye, the electorate deserves to understand his situation.
He could avoid more public ridicule by gracefully standing down from politics before the next election. Will he?