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76 responses to “Nelson brings on leadership spill for tomorrow”

  1. Robert Merkel

    Oh well, that solves the problem of figuring out something to post about tonight..

    Tell me this: if you’re Turnbull, would you want the leadership now?

  2. Phil

    ….or maybe he’d eaten some of those baked beans.

    Shouldn’t that be half baked beans?

  3. Mark

    He’s promising jam tomorrow, as they used to say in the UK?

  4. Chumpai

    Well I’ve got no doubt that Turnbull really, really wants to be leader, but personally I wouldn’t want it right now – too many Liberals don’t like him and in those circumstances it would make sense to wait until he’s the only option.

  5. Mark

    Update: Michael Brissenden reported on the 7 30 Report that Nelson had been more angry than ever seen before (is that possible?) at a party room meeting and had promised to “clean out” his office and the front bench if he wins. He could lose endless commentator Tony Abbott for a start, and the promise regarding the office presumably refers to his habit of going off the reservation and making policy unilaterally – for instance with the $30 a week pension increase. More strange is a reported promise to “toughen up” the line on climate change while simultaneously walking away from the carping opposition to same sex rights in the Senate. This sounds like a typical Nelson left/right straddle to me, but apparently he’s going to show a “different” side to his leadership. More props? No more truck trekking? Who knows?

    Turnbull is standing by the way.

  6. Lefty E

    Check the timing! How to scotch Cossie’s launch, or what?

    Serves Smirker right. Note the Libs are more or less openly telling him to put up or shut up now.

  7. Mark

    Well, $weetie got bumped from the 7 30 report.

  8. Phil

    Can we call the next election for Labor now?

  9. Bernice

    Yes, nice of Brendan to wait til Malcolm got back to school Canberra before spilling. Can’t blame him really – he either goes down fighting tomorrow or wins to linger for a while longer, rather than waiting for the inevitable Corridor of the Long Knives to play itself out in the next week.

    And Costello cancelled all his media commitments today re THE BOOK…..

    Personally, I’m a trifle more concerned about Lehman Bros than who will be leading the Liberal Party this time tomorrow.

  10. Robert Merkel

    I’d love to know what Nelson thinks he’s doing with his plans to “toughen up” the Liberals’ response to the ETS (that is, argue for the ETS to be watered down to nothing).

    Do the conservatives want to lose another election on the issue?

  11. Lefty E

    Not Americans, Bernice! Worst financial collapse in 50 years, the govt is turning to to 1940s style socialism in desperation- but noooo: Palin’s a HOCKEY MOM. With a view of RUSSIA! I’m voting for her! She tell us what to do.

  12. tigtog

    There’s a comment over at Pollbludger regarding a rumour that Abbott has done a deal with Turnbull and will contest the deputy position – but doesn’t that have to be declared vacant first? Brendan doesn’t seem to have declared it vacant as yet.

  13. Katz

    Nelson — suicide by spill.

  14. Enemy Combatant

    tigtog, in a leadership spill, arn’t both positions up for grabs?

  15. Jacques Chester

    EC — no, they are voted for separately.

  16. Jacques Chester

    Anyway, Nelson is screwed. Either he wins and sends Malcolm to the back bench with oodles of spare time to chat up backbenchers, or he loses.

    And “clear air”? It could be flaming alpine air, people would still not vote for the poor bastard.

  17. Mark

    Presumably leaving Bishop in place gets Nelson some votes if there’s truth in the rumour that Abbott’s teamed up with Turnbull – because they’d have to actively move against her to dislodge her.

  18. Jacques Chester

    Well she has to consider her position carefully. The West Australians have a lot of clout because they’re the only state that didn’t lose seats at the November Slaughter and hereabouts all the Libs consider her the second coming of christ and a future PM. But if she has any sense of history she’ll realise that backing the wrong horse can root you pretty thoroughly.

    In any case, the WA MHRs voted as a bloc last time; that makes the Bishop more important than the Abbott, pun intended.

  19. Jacques Chester

    So if Turnbull has any sense he’s on the phone right now to Bishop assuring her that he’ll look after her … if he wins the leadership. Abbott will get something juicy like Treasury, and possibly Minister for Religious Genocide.

  20. Mark

    Elsewhere: Hoyden, Surfdom, Poll Bludger.

  21. Liam

    Jacques is right, the positions are elected separately. Though presumably if there’s a deal on which secures the numbers for Leader without WA votes,* it also secures the numbers to spill Deputy Leader.
    *No, I can’t see it happening either

  22. Mark

    Brissenden reported on the 7 30 report that Nelson wouldn’t be bringing on a spill for the Deputy-ship and that Bishop would be “happy to work with either”…

  23. Adrien

    VOTE ONE: Petey. C’arn Petey, step up to the bat. So that you know once and for all that we don’t like you either.
    And then give old Haughty Turnball a go. It’d be nice if the leader of the Liberal Party was, um, a liberal for a change.

  24. Ambigulous

    The Hon Viscount Turnbull has at least shown he has the balls for a contest, unlike his pusillanimous predecessor – yes we mean you, Peter.

    If Peter really, really hates the Viscount, will he now be on the phone trying to shore up Dr Nelson? Or will Tanya persuade Peter to get drafted? Has he still got his acceptance speech in his wallet? Can he do better than Dolly did? [bated breath]

    The brouhaha confirms PM Rudd’s comment today that he baked beans were all about the Lib leadership, not the pensioners.

  25. Andrew E

    There’s no point in knocking off Bishop, especially not replacing her with Abbott. Not one vote would be gained, and plenty would be lost. Besides, if you did that the next step would be to take on the two strategic geniuses from the country’s two smallest states who have made the Senate their plaything.

    Abbott is an increasingly sad figure. He’d love to defend everything Howard ever said, thought or did, but he knows he can’t. He’d love to say he was shoulder to shoulder with his good mate PeterCostello(TM), but Costello showed him up good and proper. Abbott knows the US-style bible-bashing won’t work in this country, but he has a few half-hearted goes to shore up the donations anyway. That leaves the moderates, such as they are, and they hate him. Watch for Abbott to have the mother of all mid-life crises.

    Turnbull ain’t Costello, he’ll run. He is an itch the Liberal Party has to scratch. Paul Kelly said of Malcolm Fraser a generation ago: “they [the Parliamentary Liberals] hate him, they fear him and they distrust him, but sooner or later they’ll vote for him”. He’s the Liberals’ Hawke: Turnbull will take the Liberal Party for a ride, but they’ll enjoy it.

    The “clean out” comment was interesting. Nelson sold his soul to gret the leadership and, like John West toward the end of Power Without Glory, has finally realised that he’s surrounded himself with fuckwits. He may think that he has a chance of sweeping them all away, but it’s possible that he underestimates just how much he’s owned and getting uppity will only mean they are more likely to cut some deal with Turnbull.

    Note also the fact that dopey policy is defended as “tough”. There’s a PhD in that, I tell ye.

  26. Laura

    What IS he up to with the beans and so forth in that picture? Is there video? I will miss him.

  27. sublime cowgirl

    Nelson = Beasley ?
    Turnbull = Keating ?

  28. Ambigulous

    A Vic Labor MP (Kelvin Thompson?) told journos on the day Latham was elected Oppo Leader: “It’s going to be a bumpy ride!” hinting that disaster might well lie ahead….

    Turnbull seems energetic; Costello seems bored; Dolly was languid.

  29. Liam

    Abbott was born in 1957, Andrew. It’d be a late mid-life crisis, unless I understand the term incorrectly and he plans to live well beyond the Biblical fourscore years and ten.
    Power Without Glory eh? This calls for a tote, or at least a sweep of some kind. What price on a full spill—Leader and Deputy together?

  30. Tobias Ziegler

    Laura – I think he’s showing off the great bargains he found through GroceryWatch.

    The Australian is reporting that Turnbull is confirmed (via colleagues) for the contest.

  31. Tobias Ziegler

    sublime cowgirl,

    I tend toward:

    Nelson = Downer
    Turnbull = Hewson

    The chronology is just reversed this time.

  32. Ambigulous

    Laura: the TV news reckoned he was demonstrating what a lousy, cheap diet the pensioners have. At mah place, we consider baked beans ‘n’ jam bloooody looooxury, ‘avin’ been born in cardboard box in t’ middle o’ road.

  33. Mark

    I was assuming the rumours about Abbott emanated from… Abbott.

  34. Laura

    Exactly right Ambigulous, when I was a little un we baked our own beans and jammed our own jam. And were right grateful for it too. None of this gussied-up “Coles” rubbish.

  35. tigtog

    Mark #33,

    I was assuming the rumours about Abbott emanated from… Abbott.

    That seems very plausible, Mark.

    When’s the last time there was a spill just on leader, and not on deputy as well? It certainly seems to point to a significant bloc backing Bishop, as Jacques suggests.

    Interesting times.

  36. Mark

    tigtog, Costello served as Deputy to both Downer and Howard – but in this instance, because he didn’t have the ticker to throw his hat in the ring for the top job. But I think Downer’s resignation didn’t imply a ballot for deputy.

  37. Lefty E

    Would anyone be shocked to see Hockey out front tomorrow?

    I get an “anyone but Malcolm” vibe of Minch and Cossie.

  38. Mark

    Nope. I was thinking that myself before, LE. Could well be a bigger field than Emo Man v. Malcolm.

  39. Lefty E

    Emo man, hehe :)
    Ive tended to ignore him as irrelevant, but on reflection: Nelson really is one of weirdest cats in federal politics.

  40. Terry

    I’d be shocked to see Hockey get the job.

    If that happens, this could go on forever.

  41. Mark

    LE, yep, and I’m with Laura – I’ll miss the comedy act.

  42. Mark

    If he loses, that is. Who knows what will happen with the madness that is the federal Liberal party room?

  43. Lefty E

    Absolutely. The anti-Mal sentiment could easily keep him Emoting.

    If it doesn’t – then the old order of Minch/ Cossie is dead.

    I think one of the most important outcomes from today is the mounting number of frontbenchers now telling Cossie to just bugger off, on the record, staring straight at the camera.

  44. Leinad

    how many objects has Emo man fetishised so far?

    I can think of the bundy and cokes, the taragos, utes, $30 of petrol, now the baked beans and jam…

  45. paul walter

    If its upsetting for them, I’m glad, after watching 4 Corners on the detention centres tonight.
    Mengele had more of a sense of duty of care than some of those cretins.

  46. Terry


    Don’t forget truck driving.

    And there were some gems from Emo Man’s days as Education Minister. Degrees in surfboard riding, the Paddy McGuinness committee to vet ARC grants, his thing for tradies.

  47. Paul Burns

    Turnbull could be a real threat to Labor but the RWDBs on the Libs aren’t ready to move to the left yet. They have to lose another federal election. I’d go for Hockey.

  48. joe2

    It will truly be a bad career move if Mal was to win tomorrow. Too much time for for the punters to get a closer look at him.

    But mostly, we should all be very scared that Tony Abbott doesn’t realise his ambition to become the Steven Bradbury of Australian politics.

  49. Leinad

    It’s like something out of Earthsea, pollies think if they mention these things by their True Names ‘ordinary people’ will come to believe they understand them and their feeble plight. In which case I dub Brendan Nelson Master of the Naming.

  50. Lefty E

    Incidentally, the Senate just abolished much of the demented Higher Ed stuff introduced by Nelson: including a lot of nasty IR crap in HEWRRS, and the daft and inflexible HESA requirements eg that UNIs must advertise subjects a year in advance and deliver same no matter what.

    Problem is: people retire n shit. Leave it alone, you micro-managing twits. We’ll handle it.

  51. Robert

    I’m surprised that Brendan Nelson buys Coles brand beans and jam. <a href="http://www.grocerychoice.gov.auGrocery Choice shows that Woolworths is generally cheaper.

  52. jo

    Mal wanted the gig desperately last November, I can’t see why he’d suddenly not want it now.

    He lost 42-45. Just two. Also can’t imagine his vote going south with all that has happened since then. And he has preferred Opp. Leader status over Nelson in all polls with all voters (Aug – 47-31) and consistently with both ALP and Lib voters alike.

    If it happens, it will be the real end of the Howard era. And the timing with Costello’s bloody memoirs – you couldn’t script this stuff.

    So many predictions about Turnbull, whatever, it will be far more interesting to watch than Brendo – sorry…watching a human sockpuppet for Nick Minchin is just too horrible after a time.

  53. joni

    I have been predicting for a couple of weeks that I reckon Bishop might get the leadership… sort of mimicing the Repugnatants in the US.

  54. Pavlov's Cat

    Yes, I was thinking looking at that photo that both Hockey and Bishop might put their hands up. Look at the look on Bishop’s face. And as joni suggests, given the success of the Hockey Mom (see what I did there?) the Libs might even go for Bishop. And then we really could call the next election for Labor.

  55. Mark

    The absolutest weirdest moment was the comparison by a “senior Liberal source” (no doubt Tony Abbott) of the Mad Monk himself to Sarah Palin last week. He energises the base, you see. And has that Alaskan thing. A certain je ne sais quoi, I suppose, since I can’t possibly think of any good comparator.

  56. Mark

    Update: Bruce Billson, the Shadow Minister for Communications (who knew?) duly communicated on Lateline tonight. It wasn’t 100% clear, but he seemed to be suggesting that Malcolm Turnbull might remain on the front bench if Nelson wins. Yeah, right, that’d be smart. But it does show that Nelson’s inclusive or something. Oh, and “strong action on climate change without wrecking the economy” may or may not be a different stance from their most recent unintelligible confusion. But communications expert Billson appeared pleased that it was a nifty soundbite. Who thinks that somehow all this isn’t going to be over tomorrow morning?

  57. Pavlov's Cat

    the comparison by a “senior Liberal source” (no doubt Tony Abbott) of the Mad Monk himself to Sarah Palin last week. He energises the base, you see.

    Possibly he does energise them, but to do what?

    I would have expected such a comparison to be made on the basis of the whole ‘women’s bodies are just centrally-heated wheelbarrows’ thing.

  58. Mark

    Ah, yes, that may be it.

    Tony no doubt also sees himself as “feisty”. And hasn’t he also got more than the average number of kiddies? And no doubt the North Shore is north of somewhere? Closer to Russia than Perth?

  59. Paul Burns

    Yeah, but Abbott don’t shoot moose. Having just re-entered the world I haven’t caught up on Palin yet. Something I’m lookng forward to doing over the next week.

  60. Mark

    Don’t speak too soon, Paul, and be careful what you wish for!

    Good to see you back, btw.

    But I could see our Tone huntin’ the moose in a sort of manly Vladimir Putin way, topless perhaps with a stun gun in case of rampaging tigers.

  61. Pavlov's Cat

    topless perhaps with a stun gun in case of rampaging tigers.

    From his bike.

  62. Mark


  63. Lefty E
  64. danny

    If Joe Hockey gets up, it’ll just be like old (Sunrise) times.

    Besides, Joe at least had the guts, or gormlessness, to act on Downer’s parting Quay Grand gesture: “By the way, Howard wants people to front him directly if they think he should go.”

    I reckon he deserves the window seat on that count alone. Brough was the only other one, and fortunately for Rudd, he’s gone. He and Abbott could have made a roughhouse parliament tag team, lethal to the Nambour nonces, .

    Roxon and Halton and Health is their likely downfall, she hasn’t put a foot right. Abbott, as ex-Health minister, with a score to settle with Roxon over the Press Club, is well briefed, and temprementally suited for the demolition job. Hockey had the health portfolio too, so Abbott and Hockey would be well positioned to catalog the failure of Rudd and Swan’s promised fix of health, especially as the State governments he was relying on for the shepherding fall, and the new state tory gov’ts will be only too happy to give Kev and Wayne and Nicola the most hospital of passes.

    That’s if the Libs strategy is to decide their team on who is best to go after the weakest link.

    Libs, strategy… what was I thinking?

  65. Mercurius

    Someone quipped last week that Joe would like Sarah Palin – because he was raised by a Hockey mom.

    I pinned my colours to the mast for Turnbull some time ago.

    I hope he will bring back the better angels of the Liberal Party.

    I wonder how long it will take the RWDBs to figure out they need a leader that will switch voters to the Libs who would otherwise go elsewhere? One election? Two? More? There’s more than a few swinging voters on this site who’d give Grand Mal a try, and they haven’t voted Liberal in l-o-o-o-n-g time, if ever…

  66. Spiros

    Turnbull has said he will abandon Nelson’s stunts like the carry on about the old age pension.

    So for pensioners it’s Vote Mal, Eat Pal.

  67. Amanda

    Sky has an SMS from the party room: it’s Mal.

  68. Lefty E

    Its Mal!

  69. Lefty E

    What a shame – I too will miss the laughs, the good times, the circus in town, the Brandpower facts and value segment that was: The Nelson Months.

  70. MsLaurie

    Wow, I can’t believe they did it. Huh.

  71. Katz

    Stud should have listened to the warning to never NEVER drink the red kool-ade.

  72. Lefty E

    And this endeth the Costello era and career, perfectly timed with his memoirs!

  73. Amanda

    45-41. That settles … uh, something. Sort of. For now.

  74. Bismarck

    Turnbull 45; Nelson 41

  75. Robert Merkel
  76. Kim

    Update [by Kim]: I’ve put up a post with some analysis of what Turnbull needs to do here.