How much time does Tony Abbott have left as PM? Lessons from past leadership challenges
|16/04/2019||Posted by admin under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校||
Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentAnalysis: Abbott’s demise is inevitable
On Monday morning – before most people had even had their first coffee for the week – Tony Abbott survived an attempt on his leadership.
Chief government whip Philip Ruddock described the 61 to 39 vote as a “clear” result.
But the consensus in Canberra is that Abbott is now living on borrowed time. If things do not dramatically improve this year, he will not get the opportunity to lead the Liberal Party to the next election, due in 2016.
History also shows us that leadership is often decided in multiple bouts.
Hawke v Hayden
Back in the early 1980s, challenger Bob Hawke did not have immediate success when he went up against incumbent Labor leader Bill Hayden.
On July 16 1982, Hawke had an unsuccessful crack, with Hayden defeating him 42 votes to 37. But throw in Hawke’s unfailing public popularity and a dud by-election result and by early February 1983, Hayden had resigned. Hawke was then elected unopposed.
Time to unseat leader = six months
Keating v Hawke
Bob Hawke and Paul Keating had an agreement that Hawke would hand over the prime ministership after the 1990 election … and then they didn’t. And so, in June 1991, an angry Keating challenged the sitting prime minister.
He lost 44 votes to Hawke’s 66 and vowed it would be his only attempt. But on the back of poor polling and Hawke’s weak response to John Hewson’s “Fightback!” policy, on December 20, he had another crack (politicians and promises, huh?). This time, Keating won the prime ministership, 56 votes to 51.
Time between challenges = six months
Abbott v Turnbull (the early years)
In late 2009, the Liberal Party were unhappy campers. Amid an ETS-sized policy rift, Kevin Andrews seemingly came out of nowhere to challenge leader Malcolm Turnbull.
On November 25, Turnbull defeated Andrews, but only by a narrow margin – 48 votes to 35. His position was seriously weakened.
The next week, Abbott challenged Turnbull, running on an anti-ETS platform. Joe Hockey also put his cap in the ring.
Hockey was knocked out first, and then Abbott squeaked through to beat Turnbull 42 votes to 41. It was only by one vote, but it was more than enough.
Time between challenges = six days
Rudd v Gillard
The unseating of Kevin Rudd in mid-2010 was lightning fast. Not many people saw it coming (Rudd included).
But when Rudd came back for his old job, there were several attempts and a lot of drawn-out heartache.
On February 27, 2012, after dramatically resigning as foreign minister from overseas, he challenged Julia Gillard for the leadership and lost, 31 votes to 71.
Rudd pledged he wouldn’t challenge Gillard again. But, speculation about the leadership did not go away.
In March 2013, Simon Crean famously tried to blow up the leadership tensions by calling for a spill. But it fizzled in the end as Rudd didn’t challenge (and so Gillard was re-elected unopposed).
But it was a different story come the next spill on June 26 (the federal election was that much closer) – and Rudd won 57 votes to 45.
Time between challenges = 16 months
What all this shows is that leadership issues do not get “resolved” in a single vote.
They can buy leaders time. And that time ranges from anything between a week to more than a year.
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