Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Costello to the Liberal Party – Up Yours.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 25, 2007

As Howard stated last night, he accepts full responsibility for the electoral drubbing.

Today, Costello guarantees that it will indeed be John Howard that accepts responsibility for the electoral fallout, as well as those members of the Liberal Party that voted to keep Howard as leader. In fact, the only person that won’t be having anything to do with the aftermath of this particular train wreck will be Peter Costello himself.

By announcing his retirement to the backbench today and declining any further leadership position within the Opposition, Costello understands well the full gravitas of his decision. The party chose Howard against his advice, Howard lost just as Costello told him he would, now the party that didn’t listen to him can clean up the damn mess themselves.

Pete’s taking his bat and ball and going home and flicking the bird at the party that refused to listen to him.

So now the leadership contest for the most undesirable position in politics begins – and it is the undesirability of the Opposition leadership, the poison that accompanies the position that guarantees the fight will be bitter.  When the spoils of defeat are so small, the battle will always be fierce.

This leads to the question of which sad old face of a defeated regime will become the first lamb sent to the slaughter. This leader of the Opposition will become the public face of a party that is about to receive the full force of ALP political retribution.

Downer will very likely be forced to resign in disgrace over AWB, Andrews will be persecuted for his negligence, Hockey will be slapped around when the government releases the true statistics of Workchoices and Abbott will be taken to task over a anything he’s touched in the last 6 years. Whoever accepts the mantle of Leader of the Opposition for the first term of the Rudd government is going to be smashed to smithereens.


199 Responses to “Costello to the Liberal Party – Up Yours.”

  1. PASOK said

    All tip and no iceberg.

  2. The Kevolution starts now said

    Looks like Turnbull, being a (relative) cleanskin with few skeletons in the closet will get it by default…

  3. allan said

    This is even more icing on the cake for Kevin Rudd. Even to the last Costello just can’t help himself, rabbiting on about how he was the best thing for the country since sliced bread and daring the Labor government to tamper with anything he “achieved”. I think he will be trying to pull a few strings from the backbench for a while.

  4. Stig said

    There is no way Turnbull will take it at this time. They’ll get one of the stupider guys out there to “take one for the team”.

  5. For an exclusive interview with John Howard on his post defeat morning walk

  6. Mark said

    Dr Brendan Nelson and Ms Julie Bishop for me… a reasonable team. I know Nelson hasn’t been the best minister but he has experience, something Turnbull lacks, and Ms Bishop would be a good foil for Julia Gillard.

  7. HarryH said

    Possum or anyone else,

    do you think the Nats will stay part of the Coalition or try it alone?

  8. Gus said

    My guess is Downer is foolish enough. He put is hand up once before when he was well liked, but proved he was not ready. Now that he is generally loathed, except by Greg Sheridan, he is (ego-)bound to give it another run. Perhaps with Turnbull as Treasurer and heir apparent.

  9. Stig said

    Doesn’t matter if the Nats stay in or out – they are even more irrelevant than ever now.

    Nelson would be my bet as aspirational opposition leader. He’s already proven his dimness in several ways, and has a hide like a rhino – these being the two most important parts of the job description.

    Also, what’s Costello on about with “the achievements of the government”? What have they done that anyone in 10 years will look back on and remember as something that really benefited the country? All he and Downer have shown with their comments so far is that they still believe their own bullshit – they have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.

  10. arthur p said

    at last, I’m feeling relaxed and comfortable

  11. John V K said

    Turnbull will likely lead the rebuild.

  12. HarryH said

    why i ask about the Nats , is that it would add yet another dimension to an intriguing senate make-up

  13. john said

    John V K– to rebuild you need something to rebuild with, only a complete clean out in 3 years is going to do that!

  14. Stig said

    HarryH – Yes, the senate is looking interesting, and the odds of a double-dissolution in the near future are shortening as we speak… Anyway, the question may not be whether the Nats stay with the Libs, but if the Libs stay with the Libs.

    JVK – I’m interested in why you think Turnbull will pick up the poisoned chalice.

  15. tidyup said

    I think that Howard, Downer and Hill (and maybe a few others) should be shipped off immediately to the International Criminal Court. I know this sounds harsh but weren’t the Siev-x and the Tampa refugees made an example of to discourage the others. Maybe putting OUR war criminals on trial would discourage any future Australian government committing the country to illegal wars. Iraq at the moment is just one step short of a genocide and we have to shoulder our burden of guilt.

  16. HarryH said


    don’t be expecting Rudd to do anything even remotely like that.

    He is an inside player too.

  17. John V K said

    They will be back probably 6 years.

    I am not Labor or Liberal I swing, you will never catch me swinging to the flat earther haters of the marijuana party.

    The other side Might be something different after the rebuild.

    But as far as I am concerned Howard two years too long, Costello never good enough and Minchin an ugly little ideologue toad. Coonan a shower and the lot on work choice were just nodding heads. And dont get me started on Joyce.

    Unlike a lot of the invective around here I dont spill hate. So you’ve all had a funfilled hatefest, but they must have done something right in 11 years.

    I voted Hawkie and Keating too and Howard but never Costello would I go.

    Anyway enjoy a good win, I think Rudd is the right choice for now.

  18. Tom said

    Rudd should offer Joyce a Cabinet post, now that the ACT re-elected Humphries. Rann has Nat in his cabinet, plus two former Lib independents.

    This would break prevent Senate blocking anti SerfChoice Bills etc.

    Nats should go independent anyway, they been slowly dying as junior Coalition party.

  19. Evan said

    I seem to recall Rudd saying something during the campaign about a full Royal Commission into the AWB scandal. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but “insider” or no, he seems to be interested in getting some accountability for that particular fiasco.

    On the Liberal leadership, I’m with Stig.

    Turnbull won’t want the leadership first-up.

    Why would he, when Rudd’s first term will likely result a disaster for the Opposition as the truth slowly comes-out with respect to some of their activities in Government over the past few years? Even if he is a relative cleanskin, the shiite heaped onto the heads of his front bench will very likley ensure Labor a second term in 2010.

    And re-cycling a loser to led them into the 2013 election is not a good look for the Libs.

    No, I reckon they’ll choose some sacrificial lamb for leadership, probably installing a female as deputy (to try and counter Gillard) and bunker-down, praying for Rudd to stuff-up.

  20. drew said

    2007 has seen the liberals unable to break out of their tailspin. They seem to have realised by APEC that no one was listening to Howard, but they were unable to cut-free from him – this seems symptomatic of poor judgement & over conservatism.
    Question now is does this dinosaur keep evolving as a dinosaur or or try to become a mammal?
    Looking at their condition in the states – their lack of political resources and staff, and their dwindling membership (diminishing numbers, diminishing wealth, diminishing IQ) I really hope they revolutionize.
    I can’t see anyone but Turnbull revolutionizing the party.

  21. Evan said

    Oh, and they won’t block the Serfchoices repeal using Senate numbers either.

    After a shellacking of this magnitude (largely brought about by the public’s hatred of Serfchoices) the last thing they’ll want is a DD in 12 months.

    That would result in a massacre that would make what’s just occurred look like a picnic.

  22. Tom said

    Yes, commissions and enquiries, tip a bucket load on the coalition and set himself up for 2-3 terms at least.

  23. David Richards said

    Anyone want to run a sweep on how long before Captain smirk forces a by-election in Higgins?

  24. johnl said

    Think you ae probably right about Turnbull not taking it and that “They’ll get one of the stupider guys out there to “take one for the team”. Aren’t they lucky, they have such an abundance of choice.

  25. Stig said

    JVK – I can relate to almost all of your last post, and thanks for posting it. However, if you want to describe the last little while on this site as a funfilled hatefest, then you may be missing the point of many of the posts. Also, Howard’s government has done many things right over the last decade, but you’ll have to scratch pretty hard to find something positive that will be remembered as a legacy of that time. I think it will be remembered as a long and squandered opportunity.

  26. ozbird said

    I can’t help but wonder if Howard’s stubborn refusal to stand down as Prime Minister was a deliberate scorched earth tactic? Very “Yes Prime Minister”: Howard stuck around long enough to ensure that Costello wouldn’t get the job.

  27. HarryH said

    Tony Abbott for Leader
    Alex Hawke for Deputy

    oh have mercy

  28. Evan said

    Costello’s a petulant little shit. I reckon he’ll stick to his word and sit-out the term on the back bench.

    Unlike Keating’s Placido Domingo, however, he’ll be a sort of political castrati: Constantly warbling away in falsetto about how badly his own party has treated him.

    If he does so, he could end-up being one of Rudd’s best assets.

  29. wantok said

    I look into my bowl of muesli, and the whirls and eddies speak to me, saying:

    * Rudd to be PM for 3-4 terms
    * another Labor leader to remain PM after him
    * Nats to slowly become extinct
    * Liberals never to govern again federally. Effective end of the two-party system.
    * Two new forces to become substantial in the Reps, long term: the Greens and a not-yet-existent charismatic-far-right party.
    * Labor to hold the middle ground between the two, and government, for a very, very long time.
    * Eventually, Reps to be divided among Labor, Liberal, Greens, and the charismatic far right party. Labor-Greens coalition needed to form government.

  30. Steve_E said

    One of the virtues of Government is that you get to see all the previous Cabinet discussions and papers. Working from the obvious assumption that the government knew all about, and determined the AWB activity in Iraq under Suddam, there are some skeletons that will come out from the closet.

    Downer is a pompous oaf but he knows too well that he cannot withstand the scrutiny that will follow if he becomes Leader. Vaile has a similar problem with the NATS. The ALP will not breach Cabinet security, but there will be some “leaks” that will destroy reputations – they can argue that the evidence has fallen off a truck last seen exiting Parliament House late at night on the 24th.

    Turnbull has few supporters in the Caucus of returning Coalition members and he knows that the Leadership will change before there is return to Government. This is not his time.

    So the lucky bunney will be … most likely Abbott as he has the support of his fellow and is a known head kicker.

  31. Enemy Combatant said

    “Pete’s taking his bat and ball and going home and flicking the bird at the party that refused to listen to him.”

    But ‘e’s from ‘Iggins, Mistah Possum, ‘e’s from ‘Iggins. ‘Ardly blame ‘im can ya if teh riff-raff don’t know wots good for’em, eh?

    That’s the thing with $weetie SubPrime no more. He never learnt, or he never had the talent to foster cross-societal let alone cross-factional support. Seems Petit Mal’s now a strut-up-start for the top job. Wets wet themselves at the thought and basket-weavers grow frisky. Rests well with the big end of town,too. Even Neville Wran would approve(but more about that in due season)

  32. Ratsak said

    I said about six months ago that the next Liberal Prime Minister wasn’t yet in the Parliament. Still stand by it.

    No first Opposition Leader after losing government has won the Prime Ministership since the war. No doubt Tip well understood this and has neither the spine nor the loyalty to take on the toughest job in politics. Rudd is in for at least three terms and how long Labor holds on beyond that will be determined by how long the Libs eat themselves for.

  33. 50_sigmas said

    I believe parliamentary superannuation maximises on 18 years service.

    Costello reaches that milestone on 23 March 2008.

  34. Marrickville Mauler said

    Steve E (30) – speaking as a public servant, you only get to see previous cabinet papers if you are in government for 30 years … everyting marked cabinet in confidence gets locked up if it hasn’t been shredded.

  35. An Interested American said

    Okay, another question from your inquisitive American: Is there any chance the Libs bring in a new face from the state level and install them via a byelection into a safe seat? That would be a clear break with the past and might bring an air of renewal to their party. That said, I know the Libs are completely out of power at the state level too, so that probably even isn’t an option.

    I know it can work that way in Canada: Gerard Kennedy, who was Education Minister provincially in Ontario ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party last year (and did decently well at the convention, playing kingmaker). The Conservatives tried to get New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord to run when that party had its first leadership convention post merger.

  36. Paul said

    Poss, I disagree, I think turnbull will get up and emerge relatively unscathed, new face ect, maybe next election will look lot like 93?

  37. Enemy Combatant said

    Theoretically possible, AIAm, but unlikely because there is a singular dearth of talent in the State oppositions, and the born-to-rulers in the Federal Libs wouldn’t have a bar of it anyway.

    Petit Mal will snatch it from the platter. And there’s a bad moon rising on Wall St. with inevitable downunder ramificatios, which will suit whoever leads her Majesty’s loyal Opposition.

  38. Underthebed said

    My tip for Liberal Leader or Deputy is Bronwyn Bishop. She has an ego to match her hairstyle and the hide of a pachyderm.

  39. anonymous said

    “Steve E (30) – speaking as a public servant, you only get to see previous cabinet papers if you are in government for 30 years … everything marked cabinet in confidence gets locked up if it hasn’t been shredded.”

    Damn straight. I have a date with a shredder tomorrow. Governments can only see Cabinet documents from the time that they have been in power. Otherwise they can see them 30 years later like the rest of Australia.

  40. Ron Brown said

    IF the Liberals elect Downer , then in 2 years time & 1 year out from the election Turnbull or Hockey becomes Leader. both of whom would get a honeymoon
    and present a ‘soft’ liberal image.Lets hope its Nelson as he may be harder to dislodge than Downer

  41. Sancho said

    I noticed Costello talked about sticking round to ‘mentor’ the next leader. Doubt if Lord Downer or Abbott would accept mentoring – so who did he have in mind? A fellow Victorian?

    What chance Greg Hunt?

  42. Potaroo said

    Watching Peter Costello’s resignation performance we at last got a glimpse of the real man, an inkling of why his party would never give him a go. The Australian voters realized his party thought he was as weak as piss and made sure he never got a chance to grease into the PM’s office
    It was petulant and gave the Australian public the two fingered salute. He essentially called the voters fools and then tried to continue on with the union bosses theme so comprehensively rejected on Saturday. It revealed a deluded man with a serious messiah complex who, to coin an Americanism had been drinking us own bathwater. The man’s sense of entitlement and thinking life in politics is all about being handed things on a platter was there for all t see. If you want the job Pete you have to be prepared to take a bit of pain and take a risk. To use the parlance of the game he professes to love Pte is not the sort of player who would back into a pack. His teammates knew that and so it seems did the voters.
    Overall he showed showed us a man with no ticker , He didn’t have the ticker to challenge Howard and now he doesn’t have the ticker to be opposition leader at a time when the party needs an experienced parliamentary performer as it regroups and tries to come up with a plan to take to the next election.
    He never had the ticker to stand up to Howard’s profligate sending and now has the temerity to start banging on about Labor using the future fund. Let’s get some things clear, Costello was no great treasurer, he just got lucky He inherited an economy in which most of the reform had been done by Labor and then he lucked into the resources boom. This is a man who announces in a budget what the surplus will be and then three six eighth months later suddenly comes out and announces it’s bigger than expected. Hey ho suddenly Howard had a sackful to throw around in the marginals and to his mates in the rural sector in a series of rorts unveiled during the election by the auditor general.
    He was either stupid because he couldn’t work it out or dishonest because he knew but kept it hidden. Either way he gave Howard an electoral slush fund taken out of the tax payers pockets and ready to be distributed in the form of rorts and middle class welfare. T the chosen few.
    Now, Pete who has a reputation for not liking the detail, and the hard yards has decided its not for him, let others try to clean up the ordure left on the floor by Howard and himself.
    He doesn’t even have the decency to go now but will instead keep dragging down a parliamentary salary while hawking himself around the private sector. For god sake Pete go now.
    And epitaph? Peter Costello: weak as stale piss.

  43. GrahamS said

    And smash them we must.
    I’ve been deprived of two things so far in this victory .. Howard’s DEFINITE concession re Bennelong last night and now I will be deprived of watching Costello being whipped unmercifully while he sits in Rudd’s old chair in the HoR.
    Dolly looked as though he’s ready to pull the pin too. They’re dropping all over the place

  44. Ron Brown said

    Downer will get it ‘in the interests of the party’ to take the first 2 years fallout.Then Turnbull (less likely Nelson) takes over 1 year out , gets the traditional honeymoon & in their opinion gives them a chance IF Rudd runs into tough economic times. Labor’s POLITICAL interests were in having Costello as opposition leader. Can not have everything !!!! Howard lost , what else can one expect in 1 weekend

  45. Evan said

    Hockey’s stuffed for Liberal leadership because of WorkChoices. The data the new Government will now have access to (and certainly release) as to comparative wage outcomes over the last 24 months, will stuff him.

    All Labor will need to do to neuter him is to wheel-out the footage of Hockey telling us the Workchoices had been a boon to the average joe-q-public. They’ll do him with his own words.

    Nope. WorkChoices makes anyone associated with it unelectable as PM. Chirst, it makes the Liberals unelectable for at least 2 terms as it will take that long for the existing AWAs to wash through the system, even if it abolished immediately.

    As someone pointed-out above: It’s the gift that just keep on giving.

    That’s why the Libs in the Senate will not oppose Labor’s repealing legislation. They’ll abstain, vacate the chamber, take a sickie, whatever. They won’t block its repeal.

    The longer it remains law, the longer they’ll be in opposition.

    The harder they try and keep it, the lower their electoral stocks will go.

    It’s a bit of extreme ideological social engineering that currently hangs around their neck like a dead albatross. And they know it.

    It’s poison for anyone whose touched it.

  46. Laurie said

    Just a question; I wonder what the Informal vote percentage is? It seems from some individual seats such as Benelong, where it was several thousand, there may be a case for more education on how to vote correctly. I know there is always going to be mistakenly spoiled ballot papers but it is sad to think votes are not counted because of a lack of knowledge about how to do it correctly. I suppose some voters don’t even realise they have cast an invalid vote.

  47. Vale Matty Price.


  48. Paul said

    What the hell would be achieved by having Costello mentor future leaders.This sounds as stupid as keeping Howard to impart his knowledge of ethics and morals. This bunch of ego driven dicks have learnt nothing and furthermore appear incapable of forming an effective opposition let alone an alternative government.

  49. Big Tofu said

    Turnbull’s just thrown his hat into the ring. Any predictions on whether he’ll take the title? His large grant to his rainmaking pals might be a stain he won’t be able to was off I reckon.

  50. Paul said

    That is terrible news about Matt Price. One of the good ones gone I think.

  51. dave said

    “Whoever accepts the mantle of Leader of the Opposition for the first term of the Rudd government is going to be smashed to smithereens.”

    …..and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of ars*holes.

    The first flush of victory has washed over the body politic – now it time for the consequences to flow and no prisoners will be taken and the wounded put out of their misery – metaphorically speahing.

    I have no sympathy for the bunch of bastards and make no apology for it.

  52. Lomandra said

    Oh I am so sorry to hear about Matt Price.

    Perhaps the writing was on the wall when he was diagnosed with “tumours”, not “a” tumour. Damn. His poor family.

    I am guessing Bernie Banton won’t be far behind him. But at least Bernie lasted long enough to see Labor elected.

  53. Paul said

    Yes, Vale Matt Price.

    A journo, a man, father & husband that will be missed.

    Does anyone have an address to which we can send flowers/cards/etc?


  54. Enemy Combatant said

    D’accord, Lomandra.

  55. Stig said

    OK, so Turnbull’s picking up the chalice…

    Oh well. I thought he’d be smarter than that. The far-right wing guys would be pleased to have him as the next fall-guy.

  56. CL de Footscray said

    Turnbll wouldn’t want it just now for all the reasons cited by Possum. Costello would have taken the punches and then been knifed at the best time, but it’s hard to see who would want it enough at the minute, Nelson i guess, he’s silly enough! The a year out, Turnbull goes for it and tries to come across as modern and sensible etc. But how the hell are they going to re-bulild this completely dysfucntional party? Not just the federal organisation, but root and branch. Very big job – just look at the Augean stables which is the NSW division.

    And it is indeed a great tragedy for Matt Price’s family, who must be feeling dreadful today.

  57. Jordii said

    So Howard and Costello were right – get one, get them both! Like all bullies, Costello has been shown up as a coward.

    With the collapse of their primary vote and not holding office anywhere will mean that will be left with huge debts and no reason for the corporates to dig into their pockets to help them out. Perhaps it’s time for a Tory bankcruptcy? Anyone sniff a new party?

  58. CL de Footscray said

    But i see that Turnbull has nominated, so I’m wrong! Or he knows he has to have a go but won’t put much effort into the numbers. Hoping to lose it this time …

    God, the legacy of the Howard years still looms! Paranoia and deceit in every move …

  59. Kirribilli Removals said

    Agree Big Tofu, Turnbull is now the “Rain Man” of the Liberal party, and the government will grind him relentlessly over such a shoddy deal. Not only poor judgement in scientific terms, but appalling judgement in conflict of interest terms.

    Mal’s an ego just waiting to be detonated, and I’d love to see him take the poison chalice of the leadership now!

  60. chinda63 said

    Harry @ 7 – really, the Nationals in this day and age have more in common with the Labor Party than with the Liberals. Thanks to the Liberals, they have turned into a group of agrarian socialists.

  61. ozbird said

    > So the lucky bunney will be … most likely Abbott as he has the support of his
    > fellow and is a known head kicker.

    Head kicker, or liability? His loose lips probably convinced many swinging voters that it was time to abandon the sinking SS Coalition.

    I suspect Mark Vaille might get the nod by default. He’s the deputy leader, and “experienced” – thus avoiding an embarrassing back flip on that campaign item. He’s also expendable once the real leadership candidate is decided.

  62. Pathological Logic said

    Clearly Turnbull isn’t as smart as some here think.

    As for Costello, right on Poss. This really was the final twist of the blade – and I’m confident in saying the feeling is entirely mutual.

  63. Lomandra said

    Possum, I’ve a question about pre-voting and postal voting. Is there any statistical evidence showing that they tend to favour the conservative parties, or is that just something assumed to be the case?

  64. The Finnigans said

    Poss, will you be doing an analysis on the performance of the 4 polls (Newspoll, Galaxy, Nielsen and Morgan) vs the REAL POLL? Please share with us your wisdom.

  65. Trubbel at Mill said

    That THUDDD sound you heard about ten minutes after Costello’s ridiculous giant dummy spit was apparently Mr Glenn Milne hitting the pavement after leaping off the Rialto Tower…

  66. chinda63 said

    I can see Costello being the sort of backbencher who spends his time leaking to the other party in an attempt to white-ant the party he deems to have done him wrong.

    A kind of reverse Mae West 😉

  67. Ronin8317 said

    Potaro(42) : The criticism on Peter Costello is way too harsh. 11.5yr of being a politicians can lead to burnout, especially when you’re facing another 6 years in exile. Peter Costello was promised the job of PM, then have it withdrawn, with the Liberal Party backing the betrayal. Costello as Liberal Party leader is untenable : he is not in the forgiving mood, and there is too much ill will.

    Malcolm Turnball’s campaign in Wentworth is grubby and dirty, and he carried the seat on a misinformation campaign supported by the incompetence of Newhouse. The ALP have people adding the word ‘Nuclear’ on Malcolm’s election poster, so the dirty trick is not one sided. (The Greens would have used ‘Pulpmill’). If he becomes Opposition Leader we can expect politics to take a nasty turn toward the “anything goes” behaviour in the US. Lindsay is only a taste of things to come.

  68. Dylan in Murray said

    You’d have to predict a by-election for Higgins within the year thought, wouldn’t you? No way will he stick around to be ignored by all on the back bench.

  69. Gezza said

    Turnbull will wait. But how many of his numerous skeletons can come out to hinder that? Downer sounded like he wanted to throw in the towel completely on Insiders this morning, now if we could just export this pompous git out of Adelaide. As to Nelson well there’s some interesting skeletons from his days as a uni. student that should be revealed too. The harder their repair job, the better I say.

  70. pendoppo said

    Anybody wondered what Petrou Georgiou + JB would be like?

  71. Kirribilli Removals said

    Trubbel at Mill, you can expect a few other barrackers for the Smirk to be not far behind!

    Golly, isn’t this the best fun since…(put in your most favourite thing). Liberals falling out of windows, look, there goes another one!

  72. chinda63 said

    Another thought that the whole Peter Costello fiasco raises is, what would he have done if the PM tried to hand over to him in 18 months – if the Coaltion had won the election? Is he now saying that he never really want the biggest job in the land? Is he saying he doesn’t want the poisoned chalice of Opposition Leader? Is he admitting that he’s just a lazy bastard who’s realised that such senior positions actually involve some blood, sweat and tears? Or has he just spat the dummy because of the realisation that he’s been ultimately rejected as the Sub-Prime Minister?

  73. Dylan in Murray said

    Kevin Andrews? NOOOOOOOO!

  74. tooweird said

    Speaking of pompous gits from Adelaide – that prize ponce Christopher Pyne is quoted in the Morning Murdoch here as considering putting his hat in the ring for deputy. He really is delusional. For me the only tragedy in yesterday’s result was that Pyne just snuck over the line against the very impresive Mia Handshin. I did my bit – but alas I only had the one vote.

  75. MdC said

    The Liberals will need to bring a clean skin untarnished by the howard years. My tip, Costello to hand his seat to Kroeger, one term in a shadow portfolio, then leader for the 2017 election. Anyone else noticed Kroeger has been everywhere commenting on the election?

  76. Niz said

    Go the new york post….

    LOL 😀

  77. pendoppo said

    There was an artickle about Kroker in one of the papers I believe, saying how he was the choice.

    Kennett anyone?

  78. The Doctor said

    don’t think the Liberals and their coalition partners have woken up to how damaging a poison WorkChoices is.

    1. It was a hidden agenda item – which nobody in the Coalition condemned the way it was brought in at State or Federal levels – therefore the Coalition cannot be trusted at any level;

    2. There was also next to no condemnation at State level for its intent and effects, which shows the Liberals are now the political arm of venal commercial interests (against the intention of their founder, and Howard’s hero Menzies!!).

    I therefore agree with wantok’s assessment – the next non-Labor prime minister has probably not entered the Parliament.

  79. Katrina said

    It won’t happen, but what I would love to see is:
    Shadow Minister for Immigration – Petro Georgiou 😉

  80. Jenny said

    Lomandra – it looks to me as if the postals haven’t been as strongly pro-government as usual. I wonder if we’re seeing the effects of the campaigns among expats in London etc? Quite a few seats that were in the Liberals’ column last night are now back in doubt.

    Re the leadership, I don’t think Nelson would survive; he only got as far as he did because of Howard’s patronage, and his insane decisions re those aircraft will come back to haunt him now. And you can rule out anyone who is exposed to the AWB scandal, which knocks out Vaile and Downer. Andrews is hopeless, and his sins re Haneef and the rest will catch up with him. So that leaves Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Abbott and the lovely Christopher Pyne. Should be enough of a field for the Libs to tear themselves apart over!

  81. dkindon said

    How about a Ruddock/Andrews ticket? They certainly sum up what the Lberal Party is all about.

  82. Potaroo said

    Re being too harsh on Pete I thought I let him off easily. The point is that he has just used the Liberal Party for his own ends and now he is stuffed has decided to pack up his bat and ball and go home. For God sake he was saying on Sky today (or hinting, Pete never has the balls t say things outright) that if only the party hadn’t been so stupid and had put him in the top job (handed it to him on a plate) then all would have been saved. Fools. He spent six years white anting Howard and then crying foul whenever he was caught out at it. Really he was a pathetic man . As Treasurer he just read out whatever was put in front of him by Treasury. he spent millions in tax payers dollars fighting and FOI inquiry about how he was rorting the tax rates. He never came up wth real tax reform and thinks the futures fund is rocket science.
    Read this Gittins column and you will get the drift. http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/surpluses-need-to-be-spent-on-infrastructure-that-in-turn-provideservices/2007/11/23/1195753308773.html

  83. thesilverbodgie said

    So this is the “Team” we were being sold before the election,what a bunch of selfish second rate performers,as for Smirk once again i say “NO TICKER”.

  84. ho_hum said

    Costello will hang around long enough to max his pension, they could massage Dolly’s ego but he’ll probably cut and run with Costello and likely Abbott and Ruddock, neither of whom is going to put up with being in Opposition after the charmed life they have led.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Kev could pop a qick bill through forbidding Private Sector Employment for Ministers in their area of responsibility for two years after retiring from Parliament. Was there talk of this when the ex Minister of Heqalth went to the AMA, or somesuch?

    Their pensions are quite enough to keep the wolf from the door for a couple of years ….

  85. CookElector said

    So Kirribilli Removals – when is the truck heading off to fetch Mrs Bucket’s household goods?

  86. Paul said

    Julie Bishop would be terrific. She once suggested that the answer to the sun bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef was to put a car port over it. Global warming solved and Alcan shares through the roof at the same time. What a thinker. Suited to the leadership of the Liberals.John Howard became leader of the Liberals because at the time there was no other alternative. The talent pool of the Liberal Party was a desert and his desire to surround himself with people who were no threat but who are also short on talent and intelligence has ensured that the situation has not changed.

  87. Kirribilli Removals said

    CookElector, our new Prime Minister (well, elect anyway) has extended a courtesy to Mr and Mrs Rodent, and they can stay until she no longer needs the horse tranquilisers.

  88. Styx said

    “Who’s on first?” …

    And I was so looking forward to an Abbott and Costello leadership Team.:)

  89. Cat said

    Oh god now Andrew Robb has nominated! It is always good when there is a surfeit of pompous arses to choose between.
    Julie Bishop!! I briefly considered her today simply on the basis that I think Kev would quite enjoy having her wave her finger at him across the floor. I discarded the idea simply because I am a female and to put it bluntly I do not want the public to see too many vacuous incompetent female pollies as it is counterproductive regardless of what side of politics they are from.

  90. Styx said

    I see it as a “win-win”.

    Costello may very well be standing aside for the most base reasons. But it can be argued that in the Modern era, members of the leadership team that lost government do not succeed in Opposition because of the weight of history that they carry from when their party was in power. There is a reason why a party loses and if Costello remained as Opposition Leader it would cruel any chance that the Liberals would have at winning until he moved on. Better that he goes now.

  91. Lomandra said

    Excellent observation, Jenny. I’d forgotten about Labor blitzing the expats.

  92. pendoppo said

    There’s a poll at the abc site and “other” gets 18%!

  93. imacca said

    Maybe we will see a Abbot / Bishop team?? Its not as catchy as Abbot and Costello, but maybe has a ring of sanctity about it?? Would appeal to the religious donkey vote out there?

    Also, Abbot has been in health, and thats one area where the ALP has some major initiatives to do with getting the states to fix the hospitals or taking them over after a referendum.

    Abbot is a good enough soldier of the party that i think he would take it on, poison chalice or not, and Bishop may feel less threatened by the deputy position. Nelson would be a “good” choice as he would be comprehensively destroyed in parliament over his many stuff ups. Doll Downer will retire i think, so maybe he’d take it as a stopgap.

  94. trevor millington said

    Face it all they have is Turnball with Downer or chance it with Bishop (Not Bronwyn) silly…

  95. Cat said

    Katrina at 79. One of my favourite moments of a superb day today (family lunch with stories of newly discovered eccentricities of Ruddock and Libs trying to intimidate AEC staff during the Bennelong count) was a classic line from of all people Andrew Bolt on Insiders. He said the Liberals needed to reassess their “moral compass”. No shit sherlock!

  96. Paul said

    Actually the Ruddock, Abbott, Hockey, Bishop joint ticket as the comitariat looks strong

  97. Pathological Logic said

    [Julie Bishop would be terrific. She once suggested that the answer to the sun bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef was to put a car port over it.]

    Actually, in fairness I believe this piece of genius was the work of Fran Bailey. But your point stands all the same – Bishop is just the next incarnation of Downer and trickle-down Adelaide aristocracy.

    She will be flattened by Julia in any area you care to mention.

  98. Enemy Combatant said

    (rework of earlier EC comment today on LP)

    The days of The Mad Monk, The Uglies and Tory Neocon-Lovers are numbered. Petit Mal is hot to trot. Broad spectrum shmooze-appeal makes him acceptable to wets and basket weavers. Malcolm also speaks the language of the big end of town. Brendon Nelson is an imbecile, Julie Bishop has an “intensity problem”, $weetie’s sulking and soon for bailing altogether. Brough is gone. Nicholls Minchin is indelibly stained with IR like Shreck and poor dear darling Eddixinder Diner seems a tad forlorn and was never leadership material. There’s nobody else; the cupboard is bare.

    Either the tories do an ALP/DLP hara-kiri divide, or have a civilised leadership “contest” for pulic consumption before slipping the Shadow Crown to Petit Mal.

  99. Paul said

    I apologise to Julie Bishop if I was wrong. Is there a safe seat available for Fran Bailey.

  100. r@tzRUS said

    Seems to me the only person who has a hope of leading the Liberals back to the centre is Turnbull. Of course a lurch to the centre is the last thing the NSW Taliban wants, but their hero, Abbott, has scared the horses too many times. So methinks Nelson is their anointed one…

    I’m looking forward to seeing the NSW Liberal party tear itself to pieces in a Turnbull/Nelson contest 🙂

    (BTW, anyone else got the feeling that the “dossier” of a few weeks ago alleging that a senior NSW Liberal had been frequenting gay bath houses was a Taliban smear at Turnbull?)

  101. CookElector said

    The Libs seem to be vacillating between denial (“we will wake up on Monday morning and Howard will still be PM and life will be back to ‘normal'” – hence their comments about how wonderful they were) and the grim realisation that they have lost more than seats in Parliament. More even than just “government”.

    They have lost all the power, the perks, the party funding from industry, the pork-barrelling, the influence, the prestige, the “relevance” and newsworthiness of being in government. They are *diminished*. They are no longer the most important party. The party that newspapers will quote, The party whose spin shapes the way that the news will be reported. They do not RULE any more.

    And that is the thing they are recognising. They knew it was coming. But there is nothing like copping it here and now.

  102. PASOK said

    Centrebet have the odds up for the next election:

    Labor $1.16
    Any Other Party $4.60

    Looks like they aren’t prepared to call the Libs as the second party of Australia anymore.

  103. Paul said

    101, nice wrap up.

  104. Ian said

    I guess Costello has decided playing opposition isn’t fun, especially when even if he did get the leadership he was never going to be PM. Lets face it, unless Rudd completely fucks up the Libs aren’t going to win for at least 2 elections, by which time surely a new younger untarnished leader would have emerged. Not unreasonable circumstances for Costello to cash in outside of politics, in which he has reached his use by date.

  105. Stephen T said

    This is a much worse implosion than envisaged. To be the leader of the opposition in the house for three years will be totally humiliating. Howard’s stupidity grows day by day and smirk has imploded. Tip just sunk with iceberg. Turnbull on SBS looks determined however he is left with monkeys. Looks like he wants to kick some heads however there will be much backstabbing so he will need eyes in the back of his head. Seems a bit naive to me. Ruddles is laughing all the way to three terms. Keating’s araldite finally loosened as the Coconut misplaces both seats. I could see a bun fight between Turnbull and Dolly and as for Abbott pretty well signed his death warrant. I think Turnbull wants to do a Kevy. No chance. Interesting times.

  106. Bushfire Bill said

    Yes, there’s been $280 million spent on Liberal Party “information campaigns” with their crony mates’ dodgy media companies throughout the past year.

    So don’t expect the patter of little feet running from the parliamentary Liberal Party to slow down any time soon.

    Some of that moolah would be nicely stashed away in untraceable trust accounts, ready to fall back through the cracks in a couple of years or so when the heat’s off. Corporate jets laid on, comfy little apartments along the shoreline in Monaco, the odd freeby trip in that luxury yacht whose real owner is so mysterious.

    The laundered skim off $280 million up-front spent on useless ads run in a useless camaign that was known to be useless within a few days of its inception (but which was continued on for 12 months) goes a long way towards making the pain of electoral loss seem not so bad after all.

  107. Cannon said

    I had always understood that the convetional wisdom on Nelson was that, as a former ALP member, he would be completely unacceptable to Liberal powerbrokers for a senior leadership role. A Labor rat might be acceptable as a Liberal Cabinet Member, but that was as far as it would go.

    Still, look at Joe Lyons……..

  108. dave said

    Turnbull (a one time acolyte of NSW Labor premier in the great depression “the big fella” – Jack Lang) will get it ! Yes, turnbull WAS a socialist before he got lucky in the dot com bubble.

    Maybe bishop as deputy.
    Bruce Bilson in a senior role – shadow Foreign Affairs? This bloke is a gem in bunch of drop kicks.

    Forget nelson he has blotted his copy book.

    Hockey – don’t make me laugh. Appoint him you extend labors reign. The face of worst choices to haunt him 🙂

    Dolly downer – not even the libs are THAT dumb. To state politics as soon as he can ? Far too closely associated with rodent – much personal liability also.

    The Mad Monk – he will not be over his mental breakdown for sometime and will still be far too mentally unstable for any real responsibility. If he gets a senior role — a ticking time bomb an easy target with close association to rodent.

    Andrew Robb. Please, please nominate this arsehole. Up to his armpits in shite. Generation change – backwards !

    Christopher Pyne – not even the libs are that dumb. His chance of advancement was linked to costello getting up.

    Nick Minchim – in the senate. So problems with that. very senior yet has liabilities with the old junta, yet rat cunning so who knows.

    Captain smirk to force a by-election in Higgins by end of 2008.

    In summary the libs are fcuked n far from home. Up shite creek in the proverbial canoe without a paddle.

    But Turnbull is the claen skin in a relative sense. Bishop as deputy might be as good as it gets for them until the next lib PM gets into the house of reps.

    Could not happen to a bigger bunch on cnuts. 🙂

  109. Chris said

    My thoughts exactly. They’re going to do it hard.

    The funny thing is that Hockey and, I think, Downer were lamenting that their staff are all going to be sacked. The Monk had some timely advice for them if I recall correctly;)

    I reckon Costello was never leadership material. Too gutless to push for the top job. Last night every Lib was saying he should be “given” the leadership. No guts, no glory.

  110. Cannon said

    On a completely different note, anyone read Piers Akerman in today’s “Terror”?

    His headline was “Rudd Will Disappoint”.

    Ah, Piers, you’re like one of those isolated Japanese soldiers after the end of WW2; still fighting a war that you don’t know, or refuse to admit, is over, doggedly obeying your commander’s final order to continue the struggle…… If you weren’t so funny, it would be tragic.

  111. Sir Henry Casingbroke said

    Yeah PASOK, that’s because the Libs are about to split into a lunar far right party and wet centre/left (led by Malcolm Turnbull – a great name, think about it). Alexander will resign this year, or after Xmas, because sitting on the back bench is not as much fun as flying around the world in a government business jet. Fair enough. Johnny Howard will not disappear into history but will still be with us making constant media appearances as he still has a lot to contribute, on programs such as on Tony Delroy’s ABC local radio midnight to dawn show (slotted in between motoring expert Will Hagon and Athena Starwoman, at about 2.30 am on a Tuesday) and as foil for Jumping Jack Flash on News, Blues and Views, 10am Sunday morning, on Noosa FM Community Radio 101.3FM.

  112. dave said

    The closer you look at the libs with rodent (particularly !) and dog gone the more you realise how deep they are in the brown smelly stuff.

    dog would have had MAJOR judgement problems – one reason rodent would not hand over. But after that – mostly 3rd raters.

    brough – talented – probably but not liked much electorally – abrasive ?

    In all honesty, without rodent them would NEVER have lasted this long !

  113. Observer said

    Nelson for three reasons is underrated

    1 – He is not Turnbull and this will play well with a significant section of the parliamentary party (it will also perversely play against him among those that want Turnbull to lead and fail
    2 – His campaign was devoid of the high profiler stuff ups that plagued Abbot and Turnbull and he is not as closely identified with the whole train wreck of a campaign
    3 – He has long courted the backbench and has built up broad long term support that will bolster his chances

    If he doesn’t make the leadership this time he will be deputy – there my neck is out now.

    And to add fuel to the rumour fire – no timeline on Costello’s exit and the inevitable by-election because he will need time to convince Kroger that his party will fall apart if he doesn’t finally take the step to parliament.

  114. Burgey said

    Well, I can’t speak for other states, but before the libs in NSW become a force they have to seriously smartne up their party machine here.

    As George M said on Insiders this morning, there’s a zealotry in that branch which is base, fanatical and shows no compunction at playing both the race and religious cards (or leaflets as the case may be).

    I would have thought that the party organisation needs to be brought back a fair way to the centre before the results will show up in the various parliaments.

  115. Burgey said

    114 – well, actually George just said there’s a mean side to the libs now, he didn’t go as far as I did – the zealotry etc. bit was mine. Apologies for any confusion.

  116. Bill Dibb said

    I have just had another look at Rudd’s victory speech last night…he said some interesting (and smart) things about recasting the old battle-lines (labour v industry, town v country etc) and establishing a consensus approach to growing the pie while giving all people a fair slice…

    This is building a huge castle around the pragmatic middle ground and probably underlines the possibility of the Libs being in the wilderness for a long time…whether readers like it or not, it is now all about soft and pragmatic ideology…Workchoices was Howard’s greatest folly because he allowed himself to indulge in his greatest ideological wet dream,the decimation of the union movement, and took his party into territory that was always (for good reason) going to create a backlash and a rejection from the community…

    The Libs however cant work their way out of their ideological straightjackets…look at Downers comments this morning about “product fatigue” being the greatest source of voter turn-off…he just doesnt want to get it…

    Importantly, the Lib battle of the 80s between the wets and dries and the subsequent slaughter of the “soft ideologues” by the neo-cons will take many years to work its way out of the Liberal Party and it may indeed be its undoing!!!

    In the meantime it is all Rudd in the middle-ground!!

  117. robertbe said

    Turnbull was so quick out of the blocks! Seems the flaming train wreck all around hasn’t diminished his dedication to enlist us all the service of the glorious future of ….. Malcolm Turnbull.

  118. Bill Dibb said

    Just thought I would make a quick comment as well about the legacy of Hawke/Keating for Rudd…at last a Labor government will be able to enjoy the fruits of the bloody important work that BH/PK in recasting the economy in the 80s and early 90s and which were always going to take a long time to bear fruit…plus, the icing on the cake, Rudd will enjoy the full benefit of the GST…the pragmatic change that Keating really always wanted!!

    Economic stability and the ideological middle ground = 3 terms at least for Labor…mostly thanks to Keating…

  119. JP said

    Costello’s tanty has just gifted a second term to Rudd.

    After the fear driven campaign the Libs ran this time, their only hope was for Rudd and Swan to screw things up economically, then say “The libs can put it back on track with Costello – the super-experienced surplus guy”.

    Apart from the fact that Rudd is unlikely to indulge in Whitlamesque economic vandalism, the virtue the Libs played strongest on this time – leadership experience – no longer applies (unless you count Downer, in which case we’d see a second consecutive Ruddslide).

    Turnbull may have what it takes, but he’s not exactly surrounded by outstanding talent. The Libs need to get new people in, even if only through by-elections, because this lot only know one thing about government: the importance of saying “Yes, John”.

  120. pre-dawn leftist said

    As I’d always suspected, Costello reveals his true self: a gutless, childish, bully.

    We’re damn lucky he never got to be PM.

  121. tooweird said

    Cannon at 110. One of the glorious things about the election that it’s not just the Liberal Party that have lost power – all those right wing nutters like Piers Akerman, Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Chrisopher Pierson, Janet A. and the rest of the ABC Board have all lost their powerbase too and will become increasing irrelvant. Hallelujah!!!!

    Oh and speaking of religious experiences Brendan Nelson blotted his book for me when he was Education Minister and he said he had no problems with schools showing creationist videos about “intelligent design” if that’s what they wanted to do.

    Nelson will do or be anybody – he have no moral compass or convictions of his own – he’s a policy flake – an “A” grade soft cock.

  122. canberra boy said

    Some very perceptive comments in this thread, which has been an interesting read. Must say I hadn’t thought about Michael Kroger, but he is an obvious successor to Costello in Higgins. As for the immediate leadership, Turnbull’s declaration while both Howard’s and Costello’s bodies are still warm was typical – brash and openly self-promoting. In some senses he is a logical choice – a social and political moderate who could set a new direction for the Liberals. Trouble is, he’s alienated colleagues in the outgoing Ministry so badly that I suspect they will coalesce around any credible alternative just to stop Turnbull. Turnbull is utterly unable to work with anyone else on any terms other than his own. Just ask members of the Australian Republican Movement about Turnbull and the Constitutional Convention or the Referendum. Just ask his Ministerial personal staff. Ask the ministerial colleagues he repeatedly gazumped by personally announcing joint policy decisions. Ask any Liberal MP what they thought about the Kyoto ratification leak which was designed to save Turnbull’s seat at the expense of the Government.

  123. ViggoP said

    It isn’t given to many to stuff up two portfolios but Brendan Nelson has managed that: Education and Defence. Oh, and he has a web site


    Make of it what you will.

    Apologies to Kevin Andrews, he falls into that category too.

  124. David Richards said

    Isn’t Randy Mandy the record holder? How many portfolios did she screw up?

  125. the munz said

    The Liberal Party, which JWH made his toy to play with and enjoy, is broken and now John has given it back. The other children no longer want it.

  126. Brenton said

    Interesting to know about the overseas Postals? So many Australians have left the country over recent years because they couldnt stand the Howard Government. A lot of younger people especially.

  127. Frogg said

    Nobody is naming Greg Hunt in the race?!?!?

    The guy has ambition to burn, he is bright, did well as a junior minister …

    And in this time of oldies retiring and new leadership mantra … he might be seeing an opening?? Any expert out there to rate this guy?

  128. Brenton said

    I hope The Liberal Party make Kevin Andrews their leader!!!!! What a hoot that would be!!!!!

  129. Ronin8317 said

    Most of the Liberal Party is still in the ‘denial’ stage. It’ll take a few more days for reality of losing to sink in.

    The next Coalition Leader will wield a great flaming sword named ‘retribution’, thus the tussle to be the hand that swings the blade. Nobody is thinking about future elections, just the slaughter that is to come.

    Personally I hope that we don’t get the polarization we see in the US. I am always impressed by the civility booth workers from opposing parties shows each another, and I would hate it to become a thing of the past. We may be opponents, but we’re not enemies.

    In regard to the Howard/Costello legacy : Governments across the world don’t fund infrastructures anymore, they leave it to private companies. It’s a legacy of the mindless drive to privatize everything. The true horror lies with the Negative Gearing and 50% off Capital Gain Tax Double Madness which drove up property prices. Also, the Rebate Giveaway to Private Health Insurance would be better spent on public hospitals.

    While the economy was managed pretty well, education policy was a disaster. University have turn into certificate factories rather than research institutions, and killing off the student union only made it worse. Any extra funding get squandered into stupid projects like the UNSW Singapore Campus with no accountability.

    Let’s hope those responsible will get their just deserve.

  130. Ron Brown said

    History PROVES Political parties priority is elections wins with WHOEVER gives them the best chance.
    Mid or late term therefore both Partys have finally turned to THEIR INTERNAL LEAST PREFFERED OPTION where that option EXTERNALLY gives them the best winning chance. Witness Hawke for Hayden , Downer for Howard , Beasley for Rudd (who had NO factional numbers base)
    Internally the Partys RELUCTANTLY till turned to who would win.
    Late 2009 Turnbull who internally is disliked will be turned to

  131. David Richards said

    126 – I would have if I had been able. Anyone who was smart and could get out did… maybe they’ll return and we can solve the skills shortage. Interesting strategy by Howard to solve the skills shortage by annihilating the Liberal Party LOL

  132. drew said

    Ironic that the Libs ran on experience. But now they’re stripped of encumbency it’s pretty obvious how little they have to offer.

    Labor on the other hand have just added some real talent: Mckew, Shorten, Combet….

  133. Michael said

    Maybe I’m giving Pete more credit than he deserves, but what if he’s realised the only way to stop Malcolm is to give him a chance and let him (even help him ?) fail. Then he could be the saviour when there’s no-one else left. A risk, yeah, but I bet he’d love the idea of being begged to come back to lead …

  134. Nick said

    Ron Brown, would you PLEASE stop typing in CAPITALS, it comes across as really IMMATURE and actually DETRACTS from what you’re SAYING, which is otherwise NOT TOO BAD!!!

    Isn’t Costello a spineless, smily sleaze….he’s slagged off Australians as ungrateful and stupid, undermined those in his electorate who he’s meant to be representing by saying that he’ll be looking for a new job pretty soon, and told his own party, who has given him everything, to piss off and suffer what he sees as their mistakes…he could’ve had the leadership if he really wanted…bloody low altitude flyer.

  135. Bruce said

    Turnbull is the only one with any credibility left. He was just about the only Lib outside of WA to have a swing to him. He is relatively untarnished by the years of coalition depravity (although Nelson and Julie Bishop have survived pretty well). And he is the only one who can pose a threat to Labor in 6 years time. (Barring disaster forget about the next election.)

    The main thing against him is he’s a rich toff.

  136. Big Tofu said

    Frogg 121, Greg Hunt doesn’t stand a chance. Can you imagine the Libs electing a leader whose name is rhyming slang for what many believe the Tories are a bunch of? He’ll have to change his moniker. How about Roger Pole?

  137. Big Tofu said

    Sorry that should have been to Frogg at 127.

  138. Peachy said

    Maybe Costello realises that he just has too much electoral baggage. If he were leader of the opposition, Labor would flog him mercilessly with Workchoices and Costello would be forced to either disown it as a policy (nobody would believe him/he would look weak), or to say it was the right thing for the country and he would do it again (nobody wouold re-elect him).

    Turnbull may not currently have much support within the party, but the talent pool other than him is not exactly deep. Maybe their pragmatic side will override other considerations, and they will realise that he is probably the most electable candidate they have currently.

    Personally I hope that Turnbull is able to take the leadership, and refocus the Libs as a moderate, small-L liberal progressive party. Nothing like a good opposition to keep a government on it’s toes – and it is about time we saw the back of the crazy far right neo-cons that seem to have taken over the Libs here as they did the Republicans in the US. Howard always managed to succesfully hide the ugly side of his politics from most of the Australian public, but I don’t think any of the remaining right-wingers have the political nouse or feel for the electorate that Howard had. If they try to stick with the neo-cons, they are going to be in opposition for quite a while.

    On another note, thank you so much Possum and all the posters here, you kept me sane (and rather unproductive) during the whole election campaign. Without the knowledge I gained from you’re analysis Possum I would not have been feeling nearly as confident about last night’s outcome. You leave the MSM for dead Poss, keep it coming!

  139. brian said

    I find it interesting that we have now seen a number of very successful conservative politicians who have had great initial success.but then in their second or third terms,they were carried away by ideological fervour,and then lost all touch with their public.
    Think of Thatcher,Kennett and now Howard ! What happened to Howard’s Battlers?
    They were working class people who felt hostility to a number of left
    -issues in the Keating period and then opted for Howard.
    Their enthusiasm for Howard social conservatism soon faded when he introduced Work Choices,and they then returned to Labor with a rush.

  140. Neilbris said

    The term ‘Liberal government’ has now become an oxymoron. None exist.

  141. David Richards said

    brian – The flaw in your proposition is Thatcher and Howard were never in touch and were idealogues from day 1. Kennett was less so. It’s more a case of hubris and believing your own mythology.

  142. Bert said

    Please stop giving those that are bereft of original thought any ideas!

  143. Malc19ken said

    Remember Thatcher?

    Howard = Thatcher

    And then what followed was Major, Haig, Duncan-Smith, Howard [Michael] and then Cameron, and the Tories are still out of office.

    Some parallels here perhaps?

  144. PASOK said

    Tory leader?

    Pick 2 out of Abbott, Ruddock, Andrews, J&B Bishop. Great comedy act that will be.

    Do you think Labor have spent all day writing their Dorothy Dixers for the first parliament sitting? Surely they’ll move to extend Question Time so they can fit them all in.

    54% of Australia voted for Tory humiliation, so let’s have it, eh?

  145. Kyle Aaron said

    Maybe when Costello and Downer slink off, the Libs could put up for election, and to eventually be party leader… Piers Ackerman!


  146. Meng said

    A few random thoughts:

    1. On the hostile Senate: Would someone please explain the logistics of calling a half-Senate election (and whether it’s an option) as this would appear to be a much better option for Rudd than pulling a DD trigger?

    2. What a delicious irony that both Howard and Rudd admire Menzies, and both share responsibility for destroying the party he created (both Howard’s admiration and his role in the destruction being far greater than Rudd’s, of course.)

    3. Costello made the correct decision: knowing full well he would be slammed with the familiar epithets – “dummy spit”, “no ticker”, “all tip” – he also knew that a stint as leader of an impossibly dysfunctional opposition would be far worse. For all the man’s faults, the Liberals were deluded to think that after treating him as a pariah before the election, he would accept gladly their mantle of saviour afterwards. Take one from the team? What frickin’ team? Surely the most ardent Labor supporters (among which I count myself) must admit, having looked forward to the prospect of Costello as hapless punching bag, some grudging admiration for him turning down the opportunity.

    4. Besides, Costello can now devote all his energies to “defending his legacy”, by which I mean ensuring that gives back at least as much as he gets from Howard in the bad-mouthing stakes. I predict Howard and Costello never to appear again together in public in the same manner as Hawke and Keating’s apparent reconciliation, and that the metric buttload of Howard-Costello dirty laundry that is aired in the coming months will make it incredibly difficult for the most stalwart of Howard apologists to rewrite the history of the 96-07 government.

  147. Meng said

    Sorry, to answer my own question, I STFW’d:

    Section 13 of the Commonwealth Constitution states that ‘The election to fill vacant [Senate] places shall be made within one year before the places are to become vacant’.

    The implication of this is that polling for half-Senate elections may be held on any Saturday between 1 July and 30 June in the year before the expiry of Senators’ terms on 30 June.

  148. David Richards said

    In that case – no joy there – as senate terms are 6 years. The ones who weren’t up at this election would be the ones elected in 2004.. so not possible to have a half senate election until 2009.

  149. CK said

    Interested American@35

    “Okay, another question from your inquisitive American: Is there any chance the Libs bring in a new face from the state level and install them via a byelection into a safe seat?”

    No IA, they are well and truly screwed. The most senior Liberal in government in the land is now the Brisbane lord mayor.

  150. Meng said

    IA: I can’t think of a talented Liberal state member – perhaps O’Farrell? And the NSW Libs can’t afford to lose him!

  151. drew said

    Liberal renewal can come in the states, where stale labor governments should be vulnerable to the same “new leadership” campaign as Rudd just executed on the Libs.

    Problem for the Libs is that Labor are capable of renewing their frontmen when the electorate starts to tire (Hawke, Bracks, Beattie, Carr) in exactly way that the Tories never do.

    But new premiers aside, lots of these state ALP governments are rotten to the core. They, not an ascendant Rudd government, have to be the 1st target.

  152. Stephen T said

    It really is time to question the notion of conservatism. Backward referral and old mens ideas do not appeal to a fast paced youth oriented technological society. Due to exponential growth we will have to develop skills as creative change agents. Global warming is one example. Bolt, Akerman, Albrechtson, Howard, Bush et al clearly demonstrate intellectual incompetence is a dangerous tool when used by those who cannot understand science, technology and empirical research. Scientific literacy is going to be an essential skill for the future. The opposition party of Australia will not survive if it is not progressive and adaptive to change. There is no one, including Turnbull, with the necessary attributes to restructure the opposition based upon the shift in technology and social responsibility. They must rid themselves of the conservatism tag. 11 years of Howard has left a bad taste in this country’s mouth. Only an opposition with modern innovative ideas will keep Labor to account for its policies. On the lighter side Keating’s unkind label “unrepresentative swill” comes to mind. The religious lobby can also be a poisoned chalice. Economic rationalism and neo-conservatism are about to change irrevocably under the weight of environmental constraints and public pressure for equitable redistribution of wealth downwards. Make no mistake about it this is a warning to those who think you can justify meanness and greed under the guise of self-regulating market. The wealthy and privileged are constantly in there with their noses in the trough and to propose that they are not self-interested has proven to be naive if not down right stupid and dangerous. Conservatism is dead and the sooner the conservatives realize it the sooner we can move onto innovation, justice, equity and utility. Idealism must be at the core of a progressive society.

  153. Enemy Combatant said

    Touching farewell mano a mano tribute; PJK to JWH


  154. johnl said

    There’s a message in the election figures for the Liberals. The swing against the true “liberal” Petro Georgiou was 0.7 per cent, far less than the national average. And while Malcom Turnbull will stress the small swing to him, when the reality that the previous election included a big personal vote for his Independent challenger Peter King, the former Liberal member. The problem for the Liberals is that the hard Right has the numbers and won’t allow Turnbull to display too much liberalism.

  155. Mathew Cole said

    How typical – just what we have come to expect from the Liberal Party. Just see the shambles that it has become at the State level. This is what awaits the Federal Liberal Party, and Australia.

    I wish they weren’t so peety – we need an effective Opposition to hold the Government accountable, and we won’t get one from the Liberal Party.

  156. Rate Analyst said

    Jeff Kennet’s image has been reasonably well defended (in fact he’s probably much more popular now than at any time when he was actually premier).

    And there’s a space in Higgins next election.

  157. Meng said

    Kennett in Higgins would make sense if he were 10-15 years younger. His time has been and gone.

  158. Peter R said

    All this talk about Downer becoming the next leader is hilarious. Even the Libs aren’t that stupid. Does anyone remember the last time he was leader. The ALP strategists had to keep reminding Keating to go easy on him because they wanted him to be leader for the next election. Enough said on that point.
    A friend of mine said that he was happy in many ways that the Coal got control of the Senate in 2004 as he was sure that it would flush out the true right wing ideologues running the Libs. How right he was, and their policies have given victory to the ALP. (I don’t include the Nats who are little more than agrarian socialists).
    Still, it will be interesting to watch the ‘struggle’ between the far-right and the moderates in the Libs in the months/years to come.

  159. steve_e said

    Here are somethings to chew over.

    Who will Bill Heffernan be supporting now? Does he have any any support now the Dear Leader is off the radar.

    Who will Glen Milne boost in the GG? He has tied his colours to the mast of a sunken ship.

    Regarding journos at the GG, only the good die young. Too sad.

  160. Bill of Bennelong said

    Reading several blogs including GetUp, news reports, my own personal experience, and that of my daughter there is a scary trend apparent and that is for personal abuse at electors by right wing thugs supporting liberals. In your face and name-calling. Now I am a big man so that is not too intimidating but for others. Even read of one elderly granny being pushed.

    Was this widespread? Did others experience it? I know that Liberal must have brought every possible person into Bennelong in a desperate attempt to apply a tourniquet to the haemorrhage. Is one of the prices that we will pay for this return to a more moral and ethical Australia be the emergence of the “skinhead” right to supplement the “righteous right?” This is a very scary potential outcome.

    Also the reluctance of the now opposition and the media to think is exemplified in the oft repeated opinion that it is the redistribution and changing “class” of Bennelong that brought down Howard. Poss, have a look at the AEC booth detail for Bennelong. The solid long standing traditional polling places (e.g. Eastwood School, Denistone East) thumped Howard very, very hard and over the overall trend.
    It was the eventual win of society over economy, of values over $’s that saw him undone.

    And, sorry but can not help it – to Sancho at #41 “What chance Greg Hunt?” I suggest about the same as his relation Mike.

  161. Rate Analyst said

    I can report an ALP volunteer being physically restrained and intimidated by a group in Lane Cove. Although, to be fair, the Liberals on my booth were polite and reasonable.

    And some of the GetUp people in Higgins were intimidated, according to my mother who was handing out there.

  162. Terry said

    I wonder whether we just witnessed an expression of collective guilt and inner shame by the electorate-in our hearts we knew what Howard et al were doing to workers, the unemployed and refugees was wrong but we could not get rid of him; fear of terrorism kept him in power in 2001 when the polls were saying Beazley was to win the election; and doubts about Latham as a flawed leader kept Howard in power 2004; now we had our chance to say “no enough is enough-we are better than this” -even his own electorate did not want him. Perhaps the Australian sense of decency is alive and well (although I had my doubts that we were heading for a generation of what’s- in- it- for me- voting) and all we needed was some nurturing for us to realize the error of our national direction – we just needed the right leader to touch that chord and draw it out again. Well done Australia-let’s show the world we are back in town, and what we are capable of!

  163. ho_hum said

    I don’t see Kroger doing much. I suspect some of $weetie’s decision was made by the Vic Libs who have just about had it with the Cossie/Kroger nonsense but had to suck it up while Cossie was in power but it’s plain that Costello was virtually unelectable as PM.

    The combination of circumstances was thankfully a bridge too far.

    If you reckon Cossie was arrogant, Kroger could give him lessons any day!

  164. ed@bennelong said

    162 Good summary Terry and appreciate the optimistic sentiments. I wonder how far you can take it though as 42% still voted Liberal/National. Only 44% voted Labor and even Rudd admitted that it was all about Howard not him.

    We stil have to make many assumptions about Rudd. His mention of Bernie Banton was telling for me. His stick it up Noel Pearson reference to indigenous Australia also said something but I don’t know what.

    It seems to me we’re mainly heading for an Australia defined by KPI’s, ROI’s and costed outcomes. Not ncessarily a bad thing in a government but the need to package up those messages suitable for digestion by the masses will take considerable skill.

  165. Meng said

    Costello as opposition leader would have been given every chance by the electorate to rehabilitate his image. I venture to say that the smirk and the arrogance would have disappeared overnight, and it is possible that voters would have liked what they saw from the new Costello. Kroger, on the other hand, just can’t help himself – he is and always will be an insufferable pr*ck.

  166. bungs said

    That’s a lot of comments!!!

    Not having read them all, has anyone considered that Costello is going to the backbench and will be drafted as the new leader in 18 months time when the Party all seems lost? whether that would work seem questionable to me, but he might well be thinking that. given that the first opposition leader does pretty much pick up a poisened chalice, then why not step back, watch the implosion (stay relative clean) and then step ahead as Australia’s longest serving Treasurer and claim that you have the experience and calm hands to rescue them?

    comments, ideas?

  167. ed@bennelong said

    166 A canvassed possibility around the blogs. Most telling though was Hewson’s comments on 2UE this morning where he said Costello doesn’t have the balls.

    Why would he change from a crypt orchid to a man in 18mths?

  168. Ian said

    166 & 167.
    Also, he has too much baggage. He will always carry ‘workchoices’ and the possible return of its extreme elements.
    No he’s gone – it’s jsut a question of when he leaves parliament – hopefully not for a long time as he will always be the ‘bogeyman’ in the background while he remains.

  169. Grumps said

    Just surfaced to the new dawn in the now irrevocable situation that has happened. Thanks Poss for the therapy when it was necessary, particularily value of reflecting on numbers that don’t lie when presented thoughtfully and read without bias.

    I hope the Kirribilli removalist is busy at the moment:) LOL when Rudd said with a straight face the Rodent had all the time he needed to move out of the Lodge.

    What of the future of the Liberals. The Rodent has achieved quite a few first and my feelings that he has spawned a new extreme right wing party. I agree with Ratsak @32 “the next liberal prime minister is not in the parliament”

    Note my use of small “l”, as I believe that the cronies of El Rodent will not be the next Right wing party on the government benches. I feel a fracture will occur within this party. Kroger has admitted a large erosion of party memebers. El Rodent’s corrosive removal of any threat to him, has nuetered all Liberals at local, state and federal level.

    His rule has extended to making the Nats irrelevant in the new landscape. Like the Democrats they will disappear to become a addenda to aust political history. Ensuring explanation of who they were will only be found in Wiki.

    As to who will lead the remanents, it doesn’t matter. None have the skill of reuniting and focussing this lot. The next election will ensure Rudd the opportunity of a further 2 terms after his first.

    It is with interest I read PJK article in the SMH today , combined with Frasers op ed prior to the election, I feel these 2 pieces show how far right Labor has moved.

    If Fraser had appeared at Rudd’s do in brisbane I am sure all there would have mobbed him as a Labor elder.

    Agree with a lot more in this thread (well thught out), but definately can say the political landscape is going to become interesting. and possibly more greener. 🙂

  170. ed@bennelong said

    It’s catching: Clare Martin has resigned.


  171. Drew said

    Who was the last Tory to go out on top? Askin?

    ALP seems to have an advantage in being able to turn their leaders over

  172. Socrates said

    Its a sad reflection on the state of the Liberal’s stocks that if you put up an on-line poll on who should be their leader, the majority of posters would be Labor supporters trying to get the weakest choice up. That way they could have three years of fun watching Labor rip them to shreds during question time. Turnbull is the only electable choice; maybe Bishop or Nelson are harmless. The rest would be a disaster and ought to seriously consider their futures. How would Abbott go with a Labor appointed speaker to pull him into line every time he behaved badly?

  173. Neil Cammack said

    It will be interesting to see if the new leader has the cojones to take on the nest of vipers that run the NSW Liberals, because they won’t go down without a very nasty fight that could well end in schism.

    The Libs’ Christian Right thugs are reminiscent of the Victorian Left of the ALP in the ’50s and ’60s, who were much more interested in retaining their ideological purity (and power base) than winning government. It wasn’t until Gough Whitlam, Labor’s NSW Right pin-up boy, took them on that the party could start the process of becoming electable again. Eventually Whitlam threw open the leadership and challenged the malcontents to put up the Left’s hero, Jim Cairns, or shut up. He won, and the rest is history.

    Is there a potential Liberal leader prepared to engage in similar brinkmanship? If Turnbull is elected I think he’d have to – his leadership would be hobbled from Day One if he had to spend every day protecting his back from his own state branch.

  174. Detest National Socialists said

    Regrettably, it seems that Malcolm Turnbull is the least tainted member of the remaining Liberal rump in the House, so he may get to drink the poisoned chalice because no-one else is game to ask for it (for fear of what revelations of ethical or criminal incompetence await exposure as the Public Servants start to sing like canaries to try to save their own skins) or is insufficiently tarred with the creosote-like grime of the Howard years in government – look at the contenders, other than Turnbull:

    Abbott – as divisive and reactionary a figure as has been seen in our nation’s political history, and unelectable as an alternate PM.

    Hockey – “WorkChoices” is the albatross around his neck, and his association with this reviled policy would be used by the ALP to shellac him in Parliament at every opportunity.

    Nelson – accident-prone, and no serious public profile, other than as a failed Defence Minister presiding over the debacles of the Iraq War and the ‘lost coffin’ affair of Private Kovco.

    Julie Bishop – a wild eyed novice, with no chance of competing in the bearpit of the House of Reps against a resurgent ALP, their numbers swelled to overflowing in the chamber.

    Downer – an abject failure as Liberal leader in 1994, and certain to be exposed as complicit up to his eyeballs in the AWB “Wheat for Weapons” fiasco.

    With so little talent to choose from, Turnbull gets the nod by default as the least unattractive alternative – not much of a recommendation.

  175. palooka said

    Heard Mal talking about how the ALP had asked him to join because he was so small ‘l’ but that he was a dyed in the silk Lib – he could be dangerous but he’s so arrogant that he’ll trip up. Then they draft Costello back in against his will if he’s still in Parliament and ready for the next election. Probably just being too suspicious.

  176. palooka said


    JB for leader of Nats?

  177. Hasta la Vista Rodente said

    Although Turnbull presents himself as a cleanskin, he was still a member of the government that introduced Work/Slave Choices and therefore somewhat tainted, although admittedly not as much as Costello. His patrician accent may be somewhat of an electoral turn-off – it would be hard to see “Turnbull’s Battlers” ever entering the vernacular – anyone who saw him talking about the egalitarianism of the changerooms at his local surf club on the weekend could see it would not come accross particualrly well.

    Tony Abbott would be a great choice as far as the Labor party is concerned – he is truly nutty, and I suspect would be very easy to get worked up in opposition.

    Downer won’t stick around if Sunday’s interview was any hint.

    Nelson is plain creepy, I can’t see how he could have any electoral appeal at all.

    If Minchin moved from the Senate he might be a chance, he covers his extremism in a palatable veneer, as seen by his performance on Saturday night.

    All in all it is a bleak picture, and I have been rabbitting on about this to anyone who would listen for the last decade – they really did have very little talent when you analysed it – they just spent the whole time running around telling everyone how good they were.

  178. David Richards said

    Just occurred to me that with climate change and the drought – having the “dries” in government was not helpful LOL

  179. Turnbull's Serf Club said

    How about Ian McFarlane for next Liberal and/or Nationals Leader – Liberal Member for Groom and Tommy Raudonikis soundalike.

    He’s so hopeless that I assumed he was a National therefore he could have a joint ticket with himself.

  180. Stephen T said

    There has been a fundamental shit in the culture of this country and how it will reconfigure is anyones guess. I still think that the right have lost the strength of the metaphorical conservative exemplars and must build a new narrative. Neocon is now a foul word. Work choices is like a dirty noose around their neck. I don’t think there is much realization yet by the conservatives of the damage they have done to their label. As usual Rudd will have to stuff up substantially to bring about a real revival. And that may be the burning question. How many years of soul searching can they take. If the past is any example the Libs will swap leaders like its going out of style. The back stabbing begins and watch out for N.S.W right. They are really in deep poo.

  181. johnl said

    The problem for Turnbull is that the hard Right will never let him pursue a small “l” Liberal agenda. They may elect him because they have no-one else at the moment, but he won’t be able to change the direction that is so necessary for them. It’s interesting that in the large swings in Victoria against all sitting Liberal members, one big exception was Petro Georgiou in Kooyong. The swing aganst him was a mere 0.7 per cent. The meaning of this will probably dawn on the Liberal powerbrokers around 2020. As to those advocating Phil Ruddock as a possibility – sorry, but being alive is an essential qualification and a zombie will appeal only to those named Addams.

  182. dave said

    # 175 said “Heard Mal talking about how the ALP had asked him to join”

    I think you will find it on the record that turnbull tried to enter the parliament via tha ALP but they declined him.

    ALP let it be known that turnbull would be unlikely to be a team player, that Malcolm would as usual look after malcolm – a rich man trying to grasp the ultimate trophy – PM.

    As I’ve said before turnbull was an acolyte of Jack Lang around the time that keating was. Again this is all on the public record.

    Either was the libs/ nats are in turmoil – not all that many options available and very little hope around.

    Good – about time I say.

  183. bilko said

    Marise Payne for Lib senate leader a slap in the eye for the NSW religious right
    Petro Georgiou as reps deputy ldr, a lib with a heart

  184. Greg said

    It may well be Turnbull and he’ll be the entire shadow ministry as well because, well, there’s no talent there. The cupboards bare, it has been for 11 years.

    What an opposition it’s still got the fanatics (Abbott, Ruddock, Downer, Nelson etc… joined by clowns like Alex Hawke) in the majority, then you have the likes of Pat Farmer (who makes Nicole Cornes look like Einstein) etc….just occupying space and good old Dollar Sweetie firing away at his own troops from the rear.

    Howard’s legacy to the party he loves.

  185. Neil Cammack said

    Howard made it his mission to promote sycophancy over talent, and in this he modelled himself very well on his hero, that conniving, ruthless old bastard Menzies. When Ming pulled up stumps he left the mediocre Holt in charge, who received some badly needed oxygen for a while from his crawling to LBJ over Vietnam, not to mention the fact that the unelectable “Cocky” Calwell was the Labor leader.

    Holt was followed by Gorton, a loose cannon who didn’t want the job badly enough, the hilariously incompetent McMahon and Billy Snedden, now remembered only for dying on the job, so to speak. It wasn’t until Fraser that they had someone ruthless enough to seize power through devious bastardry of the first order.

    Interestingly, it seems that Howard learnt a lot of his own deviousness at Fraser’s knee.

  186. Rocket said

    It’s happening already – the ranks of “Howard-Huggers” are thinning. Liberals already hate McMahon, Gorton and Fraser, so soon Howard will join this (un)happy band.

  187. Neil said

    I think I would have done the same as Costello.

    Realistically he would have 6 hard years ahead of him before getting a sniff of victory. At 56 he would be tired and his best years of reformist zeal behind him. All this time he would be hounded by the Labor Party as being part of the past and would still be un-electable for that reason alone.

    I believe that he is giving Howard one last finger of defiance and making the point that he was their best, and slimmest, chance of victory last Saturday. After all what does he owe his colleagues who obviously knew they were heading for disaster, but chose to go along with a captain heading for the rocks,instead of changing ships. That is a ship of fools who you don’t want to associate yourself with.

  188. Sagacious said

    You have to hand it to the “greatest Prime Minister after Menzies”. The Government is destroyed, he lost his own seat and Labor in power in every state and territory, all on his watch. Now the party is in total disarray, having made no attempt to impose his leadership thereon to reform or rejuvenate it.

    History shows that the guy that leads them into the wilderness is not necessarily the one to lead them to the promised land – think Hayden and Beasley. In fact the liberal party is even more ruthless with its losers – that is why Fraser resigned on the night before the knives came out.

    The incoming opposition leader has to deal with this total train wreck. It is hard to see Rudd as a one term leader and so the this new opposition leader will fail at the next election and probably a few after that. As the failed leader he has to fall on his sword and his political career is finished.

    Costello can see all this and wisely, in my view, reckons there is no long-term benefit – only negatives. Why Turnbull cannot see this or why the wise heads in the party would want to put up their first reserve is a mystery.

    Rudd is going to make mince meat of this opposition leader so why not put up one of the co-authors of the Howard Legacy. My vote is for Ruddock or Lord Downer

  189. Turnbull's Serf Club said

    Some great posts here – I think you can add the name Hewson to those who the Libs will never speak to again (even though he now sounds like the voice of reason).

    I live in Wentworth and can’t understand the obsession with the incompetent Turnbull – I beg you all to watch his next media and parliamentary performances…no public speaking skills

    The only claim he has for leadership is that he was born to rule – Vaucluse and Rose Bay elected him – check the booths

  190. shinybum said

    Costello’s only 50 years old for Godsake. He’s younger than Turnbull. All this ‘generational change’ rubbish is just that, complete rubbish. Costello’s a twat.

  191. P said

    David Tench (sorry, I mean Brendan Nelson) – actually its a poisoned chalice – I hope Peter doesn’t expect to come back and claim the leadership later.

  192. rossco said

    With Turnbull, Abbott or Nelson as leader the Libs will even lose seats in the West. There were really voting for Howard this time because of all the wonderful prosperity his great economic management has delivered over here. We are still aspirationals here! Turnbull will be seen as too much of a trendy and they won’t forget the Republic campaign. Abbott and Nelson just wouldn’t cut it as leaders.

    Julie Bishop would get some support on a parochial basis but not enough.

  193. thanatos said

    Peter Costello has a very sound political head, as everyone has said no first term opposition leader has ever regained the top job without being a PM first. Peter is taking a very long view indeed, he will wait for the rest of his enemies, who are no doubt lined up seeking the scraps of shadow ministry to be flayed bloody by the ALP, he will wait until the list of failed and maimed leadership is as long and bloody as the list between Fraser and Howard. Then he will reluctantly offer his services to save the party etc etc.

    The real issue is the damage in between, and while Cabinet Docs can’t be reported, quoted or normally accessed they can be viewed “in camera” by a Royal Commissioner, who can then use them as a basis to warrant charges. Something several members of the Howard ministry may find uncomfortable. Especially the Immigration Ministers………..

  194. David Richards said

    If that is true regarding Royal Commissions and Cabinet docs – then let’s have a whole swag into every putrid thing the Libs got up to in 11 years 🙂

    The contents might not be able to be revealed.. but if senior Libs start getting carted off to the pokey… we can put two and two together without knowing the details 🙂

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