You could hear the knives sharpening several continents away. Malcolm Turnbull, former communications minister, and now Australian Prime Minister, engineered a successful ambush of Tony Abbott as the evening newsfeeds started getting busy. When the vote came in, Turnbull had garnered 54 votes to Abbott’s 44.
The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs. Decisions on the environment and national security were made with a tyrant’s impulse. Extraordinary policy suggestions were aired (a unilateral deployment of Australian forces to Iraq against Islamic State forces being one). Even more conservative members of his party had to urge restraint.