Tony Abbott is on notice – his demise is inevitable
|01/07/2018||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentAbbott avoids leadership spill
Tony Abbott has survived, but his authority is massively diminished and his prospects of leading the Coalition into the next election are remote.
In the absence of a declared alternative, almost 40 per cent of his MPs voted to have the leadership put to a vote – enough to suggest he will be gone if his poll numbers remain diabolical.
The 61 to 39 vote flatters the Prime Minister because, notwithstanding the secret ballot, the front bench felt compelled to lock in behind the incumbent. Clearly, a solid majority of the backbench voted for change.
If Abbott was in any doubt about the gravity of his situation before the vote, he can be under no illusions now.
Abbott’s position is all the more precarious because the vote came after he announced his plan to rebuild the trust of the electorate. That plan has now received a huge vote of no confidence and needs to be recast. His problems go to policy, personnel and presentation, not just leadership.
The one up-side is that there was no declared challenger, which means there should be no recriminations, or forced resignations. Malcolm Turnbull remains leader-in-waiting, and Julie Bishop most likely to remain the deputy.
The scenario most likely to unfold in the coming weeks is that the party will heed the leader’s impassioned plea for unity – for now – and for the May budget to be his last chance of rebuilding a level of confidence but the situation is so fluid and volatile that a challenge in the coming days cannot be ruled out.
A solid victory for Mike Baird in the NSW election, where (unlike the case in the Victorian and Queensland polls) Abbott will be made to feel welcome by the affable Premier (who happens to be a surfing buddy), could relieve the pressure.
But to say he has been placed on notice is an understatement. One more serious misstep will hasten the demise that seems inevitable.
One factor in Abbott’s favour was that he had not reached the half-way mark of his first term. Many of his MPs were reluctant to tear him down much earlier than Labor removed Kevin Rudd.
But, let’s be frank, there is little confidence within the government that he can recover. Ultimately, the expectation is that he will “do the right thing” and step down or be defeated in the next ballot. If sentiment helped him this time, it will be of little value next.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.