Tony Abbott has resigned from the frontbench.
There is speculation there may be another move for a leadership spill, which would mean that Andrews’ candidacy was pure stalking horse.
I must say I’m surprised by how crazy the Libs really can be. There’s been a lot of talk today about Turnbull’s need to mend fences with the right wing. I still can’t see how that would be a viable political strategy for him – he can only lead effectively from a position as a moderniser. But perhaps the Liberals just can’t be led on this basis. If Abbott becomes leader, they will have demonstrated they can certainly be led off a cliff, though I think the other talk around today about the demise of the Liberals is a premature call.
Update: Liberal whips have asked parliamentarians not to leave the House, Sophie Mirabella has also resigned. Follow developments (and a lot of speculation) at Twitter.
Update: Eric Abetz and Tony Smith have reportedly also resigned. Talk is of a Tony Abbott/Tony Smith leadership ticket.
Update: Malcolm Turnbull will give a press conference at 7pm AEDT. Barnaby Joyce has told Sky News he expects Turnbull to step down.
Update: The ABC is streaming Turnbull’s media conference live.
Update: Turnbull has dug in, and thrown down the gauntlet to ‘climate skeptics’, saying no credible party can have a do-nothing stance on climate change. A strong performance in his press conference.
Update: Minchin has resigned, but will stay on until the end of this parliamentary session. Turnbull says that enough Liberal senators will vote for the CPRS to ensure its passage.
Update: Turnbull will announce a reshuffled front bench after Parliament rises.
Update: Liking Turnbull’s crazy brave stance. Someone had to stand up to the madness of the Howardian Liberal right wing. Politics is unpredictable! Turnbull might still prevail. Can anyone actually imagine an Abbott led opposition committed to inaction on climate change, Workchoices redux, etc?
Update: On Sky News, David Speers read out a text message from a Liberal MP comparing Turnbull to Hitler. I’ll make the point I made last night – we’re seeing epic Liberal right wing FAIL. They’re showing their completely nutty and unelectable face.
Update: New post – Five propositions on the Liberal Right’s week of FAIL.